Co-Counsel and Referring Attorneys
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Why Partner with Swope Rodante?

With the majority of our cases coming from co-counsel attorneys, we consider it a great honor to have earned the respect and trust of our esteemed colleagues.

Co-counsel attorneysFor over 40 years, our firm has developed a comprehensive approach to handling complicated personal injury and insurance bad faith cases drawing upon strength and experience to defeat the most powerful of opponents.

We understand that most lawyers rarely encounter catastrophic injury claims and that, when you do, you want to recover the absolute maximum for your client.

You need a firm you can trust to have the same commitment you do, and with experience to confidently guide your client on the journey to recovery.

Our firm has a national reputation for litigating complex cases and we’re proud to work closely with referring co-counsel attorneys to achieve justice for our clients.

If you would like to discuss a case involving insurance bad faith, personal injury, or an appellate matter, please contact us directly at (813) 273-0017. We welcome your call.

Security Comes with Knowing You’re Partnering with one of the Top Rated Law Firms in the Country

Over the years, we’ve seen referrals from other attorneys steadily increase to the point that they are now our largest source of new cases, by far. Some firms we work with have been consistently referring cases to us for decades.

If you are an attorney searching for an appropriate firm to refer a case or add to your prosecution team as co-counsel, you can be assured that we always remember to treat our referral relationships as if our very existence depended on them (since it does!).

We are generous in the sharing of fees for both referral and, where appropriate, co-counsel arrangements and have shared referral and co-counsel fees of over one hundred million dollars over ten years. You will be hard-pressed to find another firm our size with co-counsel numbers anywhere close to these.

Cultivating a Powerful Community of Attorneys

With the vision of providing valuable tools and resources for fellow trial attorneys around the state and across the country, we’ve developed our Attorney Knowledge Base which provides news alerts, case law updates, whitepapers, and other resources. Stay informed with 24-hour access to vital information about insurance bad faith litigation. Contact us to request access to the knowledge base.

Our 5-Point Pledge to Referring Attorneys

Co-counsel insurance bad faith law firm

1. We Will Honor Our Agreements.

It sounds simple. It sounds like something that doesn’t need to be said. But almost every big case lawyer you meet has a horror story to tell about referred cases that were settled with no notice because the lawyer ‘forgot’ about the referring attorney. Or about the client who up and decided to ‘drop’ the case for no apparent reason. Or who terminated the referral lawyer, only to hire his friend down the road the following week. Or the lawyer who announced as trial approached that a ‘renegotiation’ was necessary because the case was harder than initially thought.

As a law firm that does essentially no advertising, we depend entirely on our reputation and results for our very existence. Even if we are asked to represent a party adverse to your client (as sometimes can happen in the confusing world of insurance bad faith) there will be a written contract that lays out in clear terms what our fees will be, what our responsibilities will be, and what the conditions to payment are. That agreement, once reached, remains the same through thick and thin, and for better or worse.

If you refer your case to us, you can be confident that you have the reputation of a 35-year practice behind our commitments, so we can all focus our efforts on overcoming our adversaries for our clients.

2. We Will Keep You as Advised and Engaged as You Want to Be.

Some busy attorneys are completely comfortable making an introduction to their clients, and then sitting back and reading the client reports as the case progresses while working on other matters. Some attorneys are the opposite and prefer to attend every hearing and deposition, prepare witnesses, review memos, and generally roll their sleeves up and jump into the work. We are equipped to handle both and every level in between.

3. We Will Keep Your Client Informed and Involved.

We believe that clients deserve to know what is going on in their case. They are, after all, the only reason our firms exist. Yet this continues to be one of the most commonly reported complaints by clients of trial lawyers. We are, of course, as busy as anyone, but refuse to look at client contact as a non-productive consumption of time. In fact, in addition to routine frequent reporting, we commit to an eight business hour time for returning calls to our firm. We will do our part to ensure that you are not spending your time fielding client questions about ‘what’s happening in my case.’

4. We Will Not Shortchange Your Client’s Case.

Let’s face it, to get the full value of a large case requires spending money. Referring your case to an attorney who is disorganized and unprepared for the financial demands of major litigation is a common mistake to make. Moreover, some firms that can absorb the risk are surprisingly uncomfortable doing so when the costs start running into the hundreds of thousands. It is a delicate subject to bring up, and getting a reliable answer is nearly impossible.

The most reliable indicators – the only ones you have, really – are the reputation, experience, and history of the firm you are considering, and the references from the firms who have worked with us in the past.

5. We Will Bring the Team For Your Client.

No case in our firm is handled by only one lawyer. We are organized into teams, with an equity partner and a full complement of staff dedicated to each. In addition, unlike most firms our size, we have a full appellate team and writing group. This not only allows us to seamlessly handle your client’s claim, through any interlocutory or plenary appeals, but also permits our trial lawyers to focus on the development of facts, themes, and arguments, leaving to our experts the legal developments and writing that often determines the outcome in large or complex cases.

Are Catastrophic Injury Cases Different?

There was a time, perhaps 25 years ago, when handling a catastrophic injury or coverage case was not all that different from handling a routine one – just with larger numbers. Those days, unfortunately, are gone for good.

Legislative modifications to the common law have made a catastrophic injury case as complicated as complex commercial litigation. The abolition of joint and several liability means that we now are required to prosecute every potentially responsible party – not just an obvious one with adequate coverage. Special statutes and regulations – some passed in the name of ‘tort reform’ protect health care providers, nursing homes, sovereigns, insurance companies, landowners, product sellers, and even the employers of drunk drivers.

Moreover, the expansion of lien claims by providers as well as private and governmental third-party payers requires an analysis of ERISA contracts and regulations, hospital ordinances, subrogation, and reimbursement claims more than ever. The overlay of Medicare set aside trusts, the considerations for preserving favorable treatment in income tax through structured settlements, and the preservation of government benefits through supplemental needs trusts, all combine to sometimes make it as difficult to settle a case as it is to try it.

Intelligent lawyers recognize that the once familiar landscape has changed to become a potential minefield of malpractice exposure, where good intentions and honest hard work are no longer enough to ensure a successful overall outcome.

What Would I Expect for Referral Fees?

We believe every case can be worked on a fair arrangement based upon its unique set of facts. The Florida Bar has developed regulations for how attorney’s fees can be shared in the state of Florida.

Generally, we work to share fees to the fullest amount that Florida law permits. Our firm closely adheres to the Bar’s additional requirements for co-counsel arrangements, regarding signing contracts, closing statements, and statements of clients’ rights. Our firm reimburses immediately any costs that have already been advanced in the development of the case.

Can I work as Co-Counsel on the Case?

Yes, we have worked with attorneys who have wanted varying degrees of involvement. Some attorneys would rather have little involvement in the case, while others want to be deeply involved. Either way is fine with us. We have worked with lawyers who wanted to learn as they worked through their first very large case and others who undoubtedly taught us a lot along the way. We have a great respect and working relationship with all of our referring attorneys.

How Would you Keep Me Current on Activities in my Case?

We make every effort to keep our co-counsel attorneys informed of any new developments on the case — through shared calendar invitations, copies of all case-related reports, and inclusion at every step of the way of the negotiation and conclusion phases of the case.

Other Benefits to Referring Cases

We do all we can to make our referring attorneys part of the family. Our facilities are available to them for use for any case, at cost – including our conference rooms, mock trial room, exhibit and graphic production services, and delivery services. These are the benefits that come from working with an established firm and are benefits we hope will make you appreciate the relationship with us, as much as we appreciate our relationship with you.

How Many Large Claims Has Your Firm Handled?

The first time our firm won a million-dollar verdict was in 1984, and we’ve been helping clients achieve similar results ever since. All in all, our firm has handled dozens of large claims, including brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, burns, deaths, and insurance bad faith cases arising from these claims. Catastrophic injuries and insurance bad faith have been our principal focus for the last 25 years.

Importantly, we do NOT take on more cases than we can responsibly handle. We keep our caseload down to about 12 cases per lawyer and never let it get over 15.

Who Advances the Cost of Litigation?

In recent years, litigation has become increasingly costly due to the time and sheer volume of resources that are invested in the legal process. Some firms have gotten in the habit of charging interest on costs, even bringing in third parties to provide that financing – all at increased cost to the client. These added costs reduce the potential recovery for the client, make it more difficult for the case to settle, and are overall a bad idea.

Do You Have Liability Insurance?

Yes. While we have never had to use it to pay a claim, we recognize that referring attorneys legitimately want the security that can only come from a significant professional liability insurance policy, so our firm maintains a multimillion-dollar liability insurance policy for the protection of our clients and our referring attorneys.

Peer Endorsements

The following unsolicited statements have been gathered from various online attorney credentialing organizations.

“Dale is the lawyer that really smart lawyers call for advice.”
Steven Heintz, Auto Accident Lawyer in Bradenton, Florida

“Dale Swope is an outstanding trial lawyer: creative, innovative, and always prepared on both the facts and the law. He is the lawyers’ lawyer: teacher, mentor and generous colleague. I strongly endorse this lawyer.”
Dennis Diecidue, Personal Injury Lawyer in Tampa, Florida

“Dale is a tireless advocate for his clients and his profession. His trial skills are far and away the bench mark for all lawyers. His complex problem solving and his intellectual methods set him apart as one of the premier attorneys in the country.”
Scot Goldberg, Wrongful Death Attorney in Fort Myers, Florida

“I endorse this lawyer’s work and standing in the legal community. Dale is a dedicated member of Florida’s legal community with respect for and knowledge of the law. He is a tireless worker that always keeps his client’s best interest in mind. I highly recommend him to any person who needs the assistance of a highly qualified and competent attorney.”
Robert Thompson, Personal Injury Lawyer in Panama City, Florida

“I confidently endorse this lawyer’s work. As a dedicated member of the Florida legal community, Dale Swope has shown an uncompromising respect for, and knowledge of the law. He has always worked hard to produce results in the best interest of clients. I would strongly recommend him to any person who needs the assistance of a highly qualified and competent attorney.”
John Manuel, Personal Injury Lawyer in Panama City, Florida

“I endorse this lawyer’s work. Dale’s experience, skill and legal knowledge has been an invaluable help to me and other attorneys I know of. I highly recommend him.”
Jonathan Groff, Personal Injury Lawyer in Miami, Florida

“Dale is a top notch attorney in the personal injury field. He is one of a few attorneys who actually knows how to fight for a client in Court, if necessary. In a world full of clones, Dale is the originator. Dale is blazing trails that other lawyers are not even able to comprehend. He is the best of the best.”
Jeffrey Byrd, Personal Injury Lawyer in Orlando, Florida

“Mr. Swope, I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for presenting in the Basic Trial Practice CLE, you were a rock-star speaker. I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation and plan on ‘borrowing’ some of your material. If (for some reason) you ever try a case in Miami, please let me know so I can come and watch (at least the closing).”
Robert J. Lee, Attorney at Law in Coral Gables, Florida

Proven Track Record

We are incredibly proud to have worked alongside some of the most prestigious and well respected law firms across the nation. If you are considering referring a case to our firm, we invite you to check out our credentials, speak to some of the attorneys who have sent us business in the past, and read through the answers to our frequently asked questions for referring attorneys. If you have a question regarding complicated catastrophic injury or insurance bad faith cases—just give us a call. We’d be more than happy to discuss with you in further detail.

  • Abrahamson & Uiterwyk
  • Alpizar Law, LLC
  • Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner
  • Babiarz Law Firm, P.A.
  • Barbas Nunez Sanders Butler and Hovsepian Attorneys at Law
  • Brennan Holden & Kavouklis, P.A.
  • Goldberg, Racila, D’Alessandro, & Noone Attorneys at Law
  • Hendrick Phillips Salzman & Flatt Attorneys at Law
  • Kinney, Fernandez & Boire P.A.
  • Law Office of Scott Johni, P.A.
  • Law Offices of Diana Santa Maria, P.A
  • Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty & Proctor, P.A.
  • Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria LLP
  • Morgan & Morgan
  • Morgenstern & Herd, P.A.
  • Newsome Melton Law Firm
  • Reeder and Nussbaum, P.A.
  • Rywant, Alvarez, Jones, Russo & Guyton, P.A.
  • Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA
  • Shapiro Goldman Babboni & Walsh
  • Spivey Law Firm
  • The Edwards Law Firm
  • The Yerrid Law Firm
  • Turbitt, O’Herron & Leach, PLLC
  • Whitley Law Firm
  • Wilkes & McHugh P.A.
Avvo 5-Star Client Rating
Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association
Firm Partners have AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell
Board Certification from The Florida Bar
Members of the American College of Coverage Counsel
Featured in Tampa Magazine's Top Lawyers in 2023
Best Law Firms 2024 Award from Best Lawyers
Florida Legal Elite award
Florida Legal Elite Hall of Fame
National Trial Lawyers Top 100 award
Awarded "The Best Lawyers in America"
Recognized by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel as one of the nations top one percent in 2023.
Members of the American Board of Trial Advocates
Our attorneys are members of the Florida Justice Association