Many of us have heard the phrase attributed to Virgil in 20 BC, "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts." Today there are a host of newly created legal groups which are for profit businesses selling awards to lawyers without any meaningful selection criteria for their awards.
Watch out for for-profit lawyer referral services
The newest such group making the rounds in California is the American Institute of Legal Counsel – handing out Awards for the "10 Best Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in California for Client Satisfaction." The group has not been rated by the Better Business Bureau, which notes the company is a for-profit 'Lawyer Referral Service.' A customer review of the American Institute of Legal Counsel by a Jerod S on the BBB website sums it up best:
“This is a company that thrives on fake awards. I received one of their "10 Best Attorneys" in Texas awards even though I don't even practice. . . . and they give the award to way more than 10 attorneys. . . . Worst of all, potential clients might actually believe these awards are real, and hire a terrible attorney based on their having awards like these.”
These types of for-profit lawyer referral services giving out these so called “earned awards” are popping up everywhere – as noted in an Internet Lava article by Jason Miller.
Mr. Miller correctly points out awards from nonprofit legal organizations such as the California State Bar's California Lawyers Association "are the only entities that can provide a true measurement of a lawyer’s merit and accomplishments within specific areas of practice." Mr. Miller has listed the American Institute of Legal Counsel as a 'Scam.'
As noted on their website, the California Lawyers Association ('CLA') is "a nonprofit, voluntary organization and the new home of the Sections of the State Bar of California" and is "a mission-focused organization dedicated to the professional advancement of attorneys practicing in the state of California."
Put your trust in a legitimate San Diego law firm with real courtroom experience
Each year the CLA gives out the Steve Jimenez Memorial Special Recognition Award to an attorney representing injured workers. To win the award the attorney is to have "[k]nowledge of the law, professional courtesy, community service, professionalism, recent contributions to the practice of workers’ compensation, service to client, and advocacy skills."
Only two attorneys in San Diego have won this prestigious award and the only practicing attorney in San Diego to have won it is Robert McLaughlin, esq. of the Law Offices of Robert A. McLaughlin in 2017.
The other San Diego attorney is Mr. McLaughlin's former business partner who is now a Workers’ Compensation Judge. No other San Diego attorneys have been bestowed with this honor.
All attorneys at McLaughlin & Sanchez are all highly experienced legal advocates. Ms. Denise Sanchez, Esq. is a certified workers’ compensation specialist with 20 years of legal experience and is a former Chair and Vice-Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Law Advisory Commission to the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. She specializes in workers’ compensation and social security cases.
McLaughlin has 30 years of legal experience, is a published author on workers’ compensation and is a regular speaker and panelist on the topic of workers compensation throughout California. He specializes in workers’ compensation, Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation, and personal injury law.
To learn more about how our law firm can help you, contact us online or call us at 619-354-4854.