In October I was invited to speak at the San Francisco Lawyers Network aka SFLN on The Top Twenty Steps To A Successful Personal Injury Trial. SFLN is a diverse group of lawyers from different practice areas that meet the last Thursday of each month at First Republic Bank in San Francisco. Thank yous go out to First Republic for hosting the lunch and providing a fantastic conference room. SFLN was founded two years ago by the lawyers from ACE BNI (Business Networking International) in San Francisco.
What the lawyers in ACE BNI have realized is that lawyers are very good referral sources for each other. Many lawyers serve a similar group of people, but they do not compete with each other because each lawyer has a specific area of expertise. For example a wills and trust attorney handles probate, but typically will not handle the wrongful death case that caused the death. That case would be referred to a plaintiff personal injury attorney. Another example would be a business formation attorney whose practice focuses on transactions. When the businesses that transaction attorney represents need a litigator, those cases are referred to a business litigation attorney.
In general, these types of referral relationships within BNI are referred to as power teams. A power team is a group of business owners who serve a similar community of clients but do not compete with one another. SFLN was created to maximize the relationship building and referral network that the ACE BNI lawyers already had set up within their weekly BNI group.
The creation of SFLN allowed the ACE BNI lawyers to begin to speak to a wider audience of lawyers from even more diverse practice areas by hosting their once a month continuing legal education program. The SFLN host when I spoke was injury attorney Walter Haynes. During Walter’s introduction he focused on the benefits of getting to know other SFNL members by reaching out to one another and setting up lunch meetings outside of SFLN.
While speaking about The Top 20 Steps To A Successful Personal Injury Trial we opened up the discussion to include the input and perspective of the business litigators in the room. Many of the issues faced by personal injury litigators preparing for trial are the same as what business litigators face. The litigation costs, unpredictable nature of the outcome, and the challenges related to scheduling a trial around courtroom, juror and witness availability.
Register for our upcoming program Signup To Settlement, to learn more about how you can set up your own lawyer power team to create a consistent flow of personal injury referrals for your law practice.