Chain | Cohn | Stiles was recently one of three organizations inducted into the inaugural “Best of Kern County” Hall of Fame, awarded to men, women, businesses, and organizations with a long history of excellence in their respective fields, and who also give back to our community. As part of the honor, Bakersfield Life Magazine featured the three recipients in its August issue, which also included Urner’s, a local furniture store celebrating 100 years this year, and Jim Burke Ford, a local Ford dealership and one of the largest such dealerships in the country.
You can read the magazine article below, or view the feature in the magazine version by clicking here.
85 years later, local ‘Hall of Fame’ law firm stays community-focused
The year is 1934. The great Dust Bowl storm is sweeping across the Great Plains, Donald Duck premieres on television, and the FBI kills Bonnie and Clyde in a shootout.
It’s also the year Morris B. Chain first set up shop in the Haberfelde Building in downtown Bakersfield. The Russian immigrant who grew up in Bakersfield had earned his law degree from University of Southern California and struggled to find a law firm that would hire a fresh-faced attorney. It was, after all, during the Great Depression era when “help wanted” signs were nowhere to be found. So, he opened his own law practice, and began laying the foundation for what would become one of Central Valley’s most prominent and longstanding law firms, one whose mission became to fight for the everyday working man and woman during their time of greatest need.
The firm’s name changed through the years, but several things remained constant, most obvious is the Chain namesake. Today the firm is known as Chain | Cohn | Stiles.
Another constant? For 85 years, the firm has been firmly cemented in downtown Bakersfield, dedicated to helping Kern County’s residents, not only through accident and injury legal work, but also through community service.
“We do what we do because we care about our community, and the people in it,” said David Cohn, managing partner of the firm that today focuses on accident and injury law. “This is our hometown. We want to make sure we help our local residents in and out of our office.”
Out of the office, attorneys and employees at the firm serve as members of committee and boards of directors for numerous local nonprofit and goodwill groups.
The law firm is the presenting sponsor for the annual MADD Kern County “Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash,” which since 2014 has raised more than $300,000 to fund MADD Kern County’s educational programs and victim services, raise awareness of our area’s DUI epidemic, and support local victims and survivors of drunk and drugged driving crashes.
Partnering with local bicycle advocacy group Bike Bakersfield, they have given out thousands of free bicycle lights, helmets, and safety lessons to promote bike safety throughout Kern County.
Several years ago, Chain | Cohn | Stiles donated $200,000 to establish Adventist Health’s Burn Center, and earlier this year donated $10,000 to the Bakersfield Homeless Center in an effort to combat our community’s homeless epidemic, benefiting the job skills training program and street cleaning team concentrated in downtown Bakersfield.
Kern County appreciates the work. The firm has been selected into the “Best Law Firm” category in The Bakersfield Californian’s Readers’ Choice Poll each year since the category was introduced.
Chain | Cohn | Stiles has earned honors for its legal work, too. The law firm was selected into the 2019 “Best Law Firms” list by U.S. News & World Report. In addition, attorneys David Cohn and James Yoro were recognized in the “Best Lawyers in America” program, the oldest and among the most respected attorney ranking services in the world.
The firm is commemorating its 85-year anniversary in part by looking back at its local history of serving Kern County. In a series of videos, the current law firm partners David Cohn, Jim Yoro, and Matt Clark share stories of the law firm’s origins, and its values that remain true today. To watch them all, and learn more about the law firm’s anniversary, visit bit.ly/chainlaw85.