Two Popular Ways to Get Cases

Steve Nober at MTMP 2021

Steve Nober: (00:02)
There’s two ways to acquire cases. I’ll wrap this up quickly, but really media buying versus buying cases and there’s pros and cons to both. You’re going to hear about firms that want to sell you cases and you’ll talk to firms like us. We do both but we do a lot more media buying than we do selling. I’ll tell you that in the buying cases there are marketing companies that want to take a back-end fee and I’ll tell you, you’re going to end up … If most of you in the room are going to get cases and then find a partner, you’re already going to split that up in some percentage, call it 50/50, whatever it ends up being.

Steve Nober: (00:35)
I just think that to acquire cases and have to pay your marketing company a piece of that just dilutes your equity by a lot and the cost of that at the end of the day is actually significant. There are plenty of really good marketing companies. You can get cases at a cost that makes sense without paying a back-end fee, and so I just think it’s important. The math, I do the math on this. It’s probably hard to read, but a case that costs you a thousand bucks to get ends up really costing you I think almost nine or 10 grand if it settles and it does okay, and so that’s a big difference, it’s a lot of money. It’s not a lot of money today, but it’s a lot that you’re giving up.

Steve Nober: (01:14)
The pros of buying cases, you get a fixed price. Some people like to know I want this price, that’s what it’s going to be, I want a hundred of them. The cons are what I talked about earlier. There’s referral fees, but there’s no transparency to the origination so go back to what I talked about earlier and the risks of how was the marketing conducted? How were the cases aggregated? How did they get signed? All of that is this monstrous little black hole, this question.

Steve Nober: (01:38)
Not to say a lot of firms selling cases aren’t doing it right but it opens up that question, and so I would just go back to my slide that says ask more questions, make sure you really see all those different pieces before you go by cases so you understand how they’re getting originated. There’s also what I call cherry picking, which is, if I had a hundred cases and I can sell a few firms them, how do I decide who gets which ones? It gives me a stomach ache because I don’t want to have to decide who get which ones, and so our media buying service doesn’t do that. We set up a campaign, the calls get answered, qualified, signed, for one firm. There’s no one picking and choosing who gets which ones, it’s all very transparent.

Steve Nober: (02:16)
I’m a fan of media buying but the market these last few years have really introduced more firms selling cases so we do both, it just depends on the appetite and how a firm is comfortable getting cases. I will tell you, explore both. On media buying, you’re going to see what the real price is. I think your ethics’ risks are reduced because of the origination issue and there’s a little more flexibility on criteria.

Steve Nober: (02:40)
Depending on the partner you pick, you might find they have a unique criteria or one that’s more stringent than others, and so when you get cases you have to make sure that those cases actually follow the criteria of the co-counsel partner you’re going to work with, that’s super important.

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