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The CLNC pros share how they get the most effective referrals from their attorney-clients.

Establish Successful Relationships and the Referrals Will Follow First, establish a solid relationship with your attorney-client. Using good communication skills and being professional at all times is a priority. When you act in a professional manner and produce outstanding work product, that naturally gives your attorney-client confidence in you and your skills. Remember, as Vickie says, to always give a bit more than asked. Once you have established this relationship and have completed a service for the attorney-client, ask for a referral letter. Follow up with a call or email while your great work is still fresh in the attorney's mind.

Attorneys gather and "talk shop" just like nurses do. Nothing is more complimentary or advantageous to your CLNC[R] business than your attorney-client telling others about your cost-effective, professional and comprehensive case analysis skills and services. I always encourage my attorney-clients to let their colleagues know I can help with any medical-related case, defense or plaintiff. Another subtle follow-up is to provide with my work product at least two business cards, one for my attorney-client and the other to pass on.

--Debra Gross, RN, MSN, CPC, CCM, CLCP, MSCC, CLNC

Getting referrals from attorneys is simple, really. Referrals are a natural consequence of consistently producing excellent work that's completed on time and within budget. The work product consists of a meticulous review of the medical records coupled with concise and accurate data extraction. It is focused medical literature research. It is precise reconstruction of the medical facts. It must include the often tedious editing and proofing process. Provide this level of quality and referrals will come, simply and naturally.

--Cynthia Lacker, RN, MS, CLNC

Follow Up to Make the Most of the Referrals You Receive

I receive referrals from my existing attorney-clients by giving quality work product. Because they believe in my service, they refer me to other attorneys. When a new attorney contacts me from a referral, he often says he was told that I am an invaluable resource.

I always follow up with a phone call to the referring attorney thanking him for the referral. I then either send him a gift card or give him one or two hours of free service on his next case.

--Dorene Goldstein, RNC, CLNC

Ask for Referral Letters

My technique for getting referral letters from my attorney-clients is quite simple. After I have successfully completed a couple of cases for them, I always ask if they are willing to write a letter that I can use either in my marketing materials or on my website. They have always responded positively.

--Dale Barnes, RN, MSN, CLNC

Sample Letters of Recommendation

To Whom It May Concern:

I have had the opportunity and pleasure of working with Dale Barnes, RN, MSN, CLNC for almost a year now. I can say without hesitation that Ms. Barnes has proven to be exceptionally helpful to me, not only in the medical malpractice cases I am handling, but also with regard to complicated medical issues in the personal injury matters I am handling. Ms. Barnes brings a level of knowledge and understanding to these cases that allows me to focus on the central medical issues, thereby allowing me to more accurately direct the litigation toward settlement or trial. I would recommend Ms. Barnes to any attorney who litigates medical-related cases.

Very truly yours, Michael R, Attorney at Law

To Whom It May Concern:

Dale Barnes, a Certified Legal Nurse ConsultantCM, serves as a consultant in personal injury lawsuits. I retain her for nearly every case. Her responsibility is to gather and review all of the medical records and then put together anything from a summary to a chronological timeline describing the symptoms and the treatments.

After years of trying to do these things myself and relying on legal assistants when I got too frustrated, it finally became clear that this was not really my job. I had insufficient training to do it right, and frankly I was skirting too close to malpractice by trying to do it myself. It took too much time, I didn't understand all of it and I couldn't even read most of it because doctors have that weird handwriting.

Dale also looks for possible legal proof problems (i.e., in one case she spotted medical malpractice, and in another she told me that there was insufficient testing to establish the plaintiff's neurological problem). Her services are invaluable and cost-effective, especially when you consider the relative cost of my time. I would not even attempt to go back to my old system of doing these cases myself with just my poor overworked legal assistants. Neither I nor they nor my clients deserve that kind of ill treatment.


Kenneth M

Attorney at Law

To Whom It May Concern:

Dale Barnes has been a helpful, cost-efficient and incisive consultant every time I have asked her for assistance. As a public entity litigator, I lack the time and my assistants lack the expertise to analyze the voluminous medical records in a typical personal injury case. Each time I have asked her to do so, Dale has provided a useful and jargon-free analysis of the material and has greatly aided my ability to either settle or litigate the case. She does specifically what I ask of her, on time and per her cost estimates. I recommend her without reservation and with gratitude for the help she has consistently provided me.

Richard A

Deputy City Attorney

Dale Barnes, RN, MSN, CLNC has owned Barnes Medical Legal Services in California since 1999, and specializes in medical malpractice, bad faith insurance and general personal injury. She is a CLNC[R] Mentor and a guest faculty member for Vickie Milazzo Institute.

Dorene Goldstein, RNC, CLNC has owned Goldstein Nurse Consultants in Massachusetts since 2001. She is also co-owner of Goldstein & Moran, which specializes in plaintiff and defense medical malpractice, products liability and personal injury litigation. Dorene is a CLNC[R] Mentor and a guest faculty member for Vickie Milazzo Institute.

Debra Gross, RN, MSN, CPC, CCM, CLCP, MSCC, CLNC is co-owner of Delor Legal Nurse Consultants, LLC in Ohio. Her specialties include OB/GYN, peds, CCU, compliance, HIPAA and Medicare fraud. Debra is a CLNC[R] Mentor and a guest faculty member for Vickie Milazzo Institute.

Cynthia Lacker, RN, MS, CLNC is the owner of Lacker & Associates in Pennsylvania. She specializes in medical malpractice, personal injury, products liability and criminal cases.

Send your best practices for getting effective referral letters to

EDITOR'S NOTE: I asked the CLNC[R] Pros to share their techniques for getting the most effective referrals from their attorney-clients. Referrals are a free, easy marketing strategy. Start implementing these ideas today with all of your attorney-clients.
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Article Details
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Author:Gross, Debra; Lacker, Cynthia; Goldstein, Dorene; Barnes, Dale
Publication:Legal Nurse Consulting Ezine
Article Type:Column
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 7, 2007
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