Chain | Cohn | Stiles welcomes back Bakersfield College students

August 26, 2014 | 8:52 am


Bakersfield College is welcoming back students this week for the 2014-15 school year, and Chain | Cohn | Stiles is proud to join in the welcoming party.

The Bakersfield personal injury law firm Chain | Cohn | Stiles is informing Bakersfield College students and staff of the benefits they can receive as part of the Group Law Service partnership between the college and the law firm.

As part of the Group Law Services partnership, students and staff at Bakersfield College get the following benefits and services:

  • Free initial consultation.
  • Free notary service: Simply call our office and make an appointment.
  • 24-hour legal hotline: Bakersfield College students and staff can simply call our 24-hour number (661-323-4000).
  • Reduced legal fees.

Bakersfield College is “holding steady” in year-over-year enrollment, according to media reports. Student enrollment for the fall semester is 17,500, which will increase in the first weeks of the semester. BC also added 16 courses and hired 14 new faculty this fall, BakersfieldNow.com reported.

The Bakersfield Californian reported that BC enrollment has increased by between 500 and 700 students for the last three years.

As thousands of students and staff readjust to school life, you can find a Chain | Cohn | Stiles informational table during the college’s Welcome Week in the foyer in Campus Center, near the cafeteria and Fireside Room, on campus. Chain | Cohn | Stiles will be handing out goodies to students and staff, and answering any questions they may have about the law firm and services and benefits offered through Group Law Services.

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Group Law Services

Chain | Cohn | Stiles pioneered Group Law Services more than 45 years ago to provide quality legal help for working people in Kern County, including those who belong to local credit unions, labor unions and service organizations.

For a list of Group Law Services partners, go HERE.

If you are currently not a member but are interested in becoming a member and partner with Chain | Cohn | Stiles, please direct membership requests to Chain | Cohn | Stiles Marketing Director Jorge Barrientos at 661-323-4000.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles unveils new videos airing now on ChainLaw.com, local TV

August 4, 2014 | 9:39 am


Several things set apart Chain | Cohn | Stiles from other law firms in Bakersfield, Kern County and the San Joaquin Valley. It’s one of the oldest and most successful personal injury law firms in the area, for example.

But another fact that makes Chain | Cohn | Stiles stand out is that most of the attorneys and staff at the personal injury law firm are from Bakersfield, or have called Bakersfield home for many, many years.

They’ve gone through local schools, have grown up in our community and have also raised their own kids in this town.

It’s something the lawyers and staff are proud of — to be able to represent their neighbors, who also call Kern County home. We wanted to share their stories with local residents.

With the help of the Bakersfield based agency Scope Studios, Chain | Cohn | Stiles has unveiled 90-second “Meet the Attorneys” videos, to give people of Kern County a chance to meet the lawyers and staff in this firm, and learn how and why they decided to become lawyers.

Watch each of the new “Meet the Attorneys” videos by clicking the names below:

These 90-second “Meet the Attorneys” videos have also been edited as 30-second videos, which have begun airing throughout Kern County. Watch them now throughout the day airing on Bright House Networks channels, KGET (NBC, 17), KERO (ABC, 23), KBFX (FOX, 58) and KBAK (CBS, 29). Or you can watch them here by clicking the names below:

Additionally, to help serve more of Kern County’s Hispanic and Spanish-speaking population, Chain | Cohn | Stiles and Scope Studios have also produced two 30-second Spanish language videos. They feature Chain | Cohn | Stiles marketing director Jorge Barrientos, and focus on the practices of accidents and workers’ compensation*. They are airing now on OGET (Telemundo, 17-3) and KABE (Univision, 39). You can also watch them here by clicking the titles below:

Please let us know what you think after watching these videos by commenting below.

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* NOTICE: Making a false or fraudulent Workers’ Compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in a prison or a fine of up to $150,000 or double the values of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles takes underprivileged kids back-to-school shopping in ‘Children’s Shopping Spree’

July 29, 2014 | 10:26 am


The first day of the 2014-15 school year is fast approaching for most Kern County students, which means back-to-school shopping is in full swing.

But for some underprivileged students in Bakersfield and Kern County, there may not be any back-to-school shopping. For some students, new clothes and school supplies to start the school year are a luxury.

Thanks to the Active 20-30 Club of Bakersfield and sponsors like the Bakersfield personal injury law firm Chain | Cohn | Stiles, several hundred students won’t have to worry. The 20-30 Club’s “Children’s Shopping Spree” takes more than 200 local disadvantaged students for a day of shopping at Kohl’s department stores in Bakersfield where they are given a new backpack filled with school supplies, and a $100 gift card for them to spend on new clothes.

This year’s event, formerly known as “Childspree,” will be held on Saturday, Aug. 2 at both Bakersfield Kohl’s locations.

Sponsors are also invited to escort the children through Kohl’s and help them choose their new clothes. The staff and attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Stiles, who are committed to various community service events and activities, are proud to be able to help with Children’s Shopping Spree this year.

Active 20-30 Club is a national nonprofit group — with a branch in Bakersfield — that focuses on giving back to underprivileged children through various fundraisers and community events. While the Active 20-30 Club’s focus is on children, each city’s chapter also has its focus for its respective community. The local club has raised millions for local children’s charities. Other programs hosted by the club include the annual Festival of Beers and the Christmas Experience, where the club provides and delivers Christmas gifts, a Christmas tree and dinner to families who otherwise cannot afford them.

For the Children’s Shopping Spree, members of the Bakersfield community reach out to local groups to choose children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to re-stock their wardrobes and pencil cases before the school year.

“To start the year with new clothes, new shoes and a new backpack is very important to all of our children, but it makes a huge impact on our teens,” Renee Stancil, youth connection-program director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kern County, told Bakersfield Life Magazine before last year’s event.

Besides Chain | Cohn | Stiles, the Active 20-30 Club of Bakersfield also teams up with local groups such as Bakersfield Rotary, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Kern County, Community Connection for Child Care, California Youth Connection and Boys and Girls Club of Kern County.

For more information and to donate, go to www.active2030.org.

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UPDATE: Several local media outlets covered the “Children’s Shopping Spree.” Check out the coverage below:

KERO-23 (ABC): Kohl’s, Bakersfield club ease financial worries of back-to-school purchases with shopping spree

The Bakersfield Californian: Children in need get help with back-to-school supplies

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UPDATE 2: To see pictures from the event, go HERE.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles partners with correctional officers to provide legal services

July 21, 2014 | 9:39 am


Nearly 50 years ago, the Bakersfield personal injury law firm Chain | Cohn | Stiles pioneered Group Law Services, which provides legal assistance to the working people in Kern County.

Members of Group Law Services groups and businesses can take full advantage of membership benefits including free consultations, reduced legal fees and notary assistance.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles is proud to partner once again this year with the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, which represents more than 30,000 correctional peace officers working inside California’s prisons and youth facilities, and the state’s parole agents who supervise inmates after their release.

According to the CCPOA, the group’s mission is to promote and enhance the correctional profession, protect the safety of those engaged in corrections and advocate for the laws, funding and policies needed to improve prison operations and protect public safety.

“Over the years, CCPOA has won a number of key reforms, including psychological screening for new officers, additional training and improved safety equipment and practices,” the CCPOA states on its website. “CCPOA has a long, proud history of safeguarding the rights and welfare of the men and women it represents – dedicated professionals who do a tough, dangerous and essential job.”

The lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Stiles for decades have represented correctional officers in Kern County and across the state in various workers’ compensation* and personal injury cases. Through Group Law Services, correctional peace officers can receive these services and other benefits anytime they’re in need.

In fact, correctional officers throughout the state can see an ad for Chain | Cohn | Stiles in the PeaceKeeper, the official quarterly publication by the California Correctional Peace Officers Association. You can find the ad by clicking here.

The publication is printed to foster professionalism and communication among correctional personnel. Correctional officers who dial the number in the ad, or visit our website, get all of the legal benefits through the Group Law Services program.

If you are currently not a member of Group Law Services but are interested in becoming a member, please direct membership requests to Chain | Cohn | Stiles Marketing Director Jorge Barrientos at 661-323-4000.

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*Notice: Making a false or fraudulent Workers’ Compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in a prison or a fine of up to $150,000 or double the values of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

CCS assists with annual hospital, burn center fundraising barbecue

July 7, 2014 | 9:46 am


Few things go together better than summer and barbecue — unless you add Bakersfield and fundraising into the mix.

The second annual ” 5 Alarm Barbecue,” benefiting the San Joaquin Community Hospital‘s Grossman Burn Center, raised more than $70,000, according to media reports. That’s more than $35,000 worth of hamburger lunches that were sold, combined with a matching contribution by partnering company Chevron.

All of the money raised will go toward helping burn survivors in Kern County during their recovery.

The event featured hundreds of volunteers who grilled the burgers, packaged them and sold or delivered them to hungry Bakersfield residents during lunchtime on Wednesday, July 2. The “5 Alarm Barbecue” was stationed on the corner of 21st and L streets, complete with a portable kitchen and a Bakersfield Fire Department truck.

Among the numerous volunteers was Chain | Cohn | Stiles senior partner and San Joaquin Community Hospital Foundation board member Matt Clark, who manned the barbecue grill and served up hot and juicy hamburgers.

In addition, Clark’s Bakersfield personal injury and workers’ compensation law firm ordered more than 20 lunches for its employees.

According to media reports, many patrons ordered just a single $10 lunch but donated much more, and still others dropped off checks for large amounts without any lunch.

The attorneys and staff at Chain | Cohn | Stiles for years have supported San Joaquin’s Grossman Burn Center, and burn victims in general. In 2009, Chain | Cohn | Stiles donated $200,000 to San Joaquin Community Hospital’s Grossman Burn Center ICU. Today, it is known as the “Chain | Cohn | Stiles ICU, Grossman Burn Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital.”

The “5 Alarm Barbecue” was also aimed to raise awareness of the Grossman Burn Center. Organizers of the event said that supporters of the barbecue make a big impact, because donations go toward:

  • Providing critical financial assistance to the smallest burn survivors – more than 42 percent of the patients in the Grossman Burn Center at San Joaquin are children.
  • Helping offset the costs of customized face shield and pressure garments that greatly reduce scarring and increase mobility in the affected burn areas.
  • Assisting financially challenged families with fuel cars and special accommodations while their children are treated in the burn center.
  • Offering psychological counseling for young burn survivors to help them cope with the non-physical effects of their injuries.
  • Creating another financial assistance option for the various additional needs of child burn survivors that may not be covered through insurance.

To learn more about the Grossman Burn Center and Chain | Cohn | Stiles’ support, go here.

CCS completes the first-ever Kern County Corporate Challenge

June 25, 2014 | 9:45 am


After six weeks of intense competitive games, Chain | Cohn | Stiles has completed the first ever Kern County Corporate Challenge.

Starting in May, our Bakersfield personal injury law firm went head-to-head with several other companies from throughout Kern County in the 2014 Kern Corporate Challenge. It was a six-week, Olympic-style competition that pitted similar-sized companies against each other in more than a dozen athletic and non-athletic games.

The entire competition was for a good cause: benefiting the League of Dreams, a Kern County sports league for children with disabilities.

Challenges include dodge ball, a 5K run, basketball, bowling, volleyball, flag football, golf, laser tag, soccer, softball, tug-o-war and more. Non-athletic events include billiards, poker and a T-shirt competition.

In the end, CCS came in third place overall. WorkLogic HR came in first place and AT&T came in second place. Here are a few other CCS highlights (and photos) from the Corporate Challenge:

  • Our poker team took first place. Check out our team by clicking here.
  • CCS also came in first in the Biggest Winner weight loss competition. Our “biggest winner” lost a whopping 35 pounds in the six weeks of the competition.
  • Our fundraising team raised $1,350 in the fundraising competition, benefiting The League of Dreams. Thank you to the following people and companies who kindly donated funds for the league:
  1. Bob Montgomery
  2. Steve Roach of Quantum Data Systems
  3. Chris Thornburg of Brown Armstrong
  4. O’Leary’s Office Products
  5. Metro Record Storage and Shredding
  6. Sunrise Coffee Service

To see even more pictures from the events, go to the Kern County Corporate Challenge Facebook page.

In the end, the 2014 Kern County Corporate Challenge was a success. The teams raised a lot of money for a worthy cause, CCS came together as a team, and the law firm got to compete against some worthy opponents. The Challenge is sure to be bigger and better in the years to come.

To learn more about the competition, click on some of the media coverage below:

Bakersfield Life Magazine

KERO-23 (ABC)

CCS sponsors Nathan’s Army 5K in fight against pediatric brain tumor

June 18, 2014 | 10:16 am


In January, 8-year-old Nathan Street of Bakersfield was diagnosed with a pediatric brain tumor called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma — DIPG for short — which is highly aggressive and found in the brain stem, making it very difficult to treat.

The tumor is found in the pons area of the brain stem, which controls many of the body’s vital functions including breathing, blood pressure and heart rate, according to Boston’s Childrens Hospital. Radiation is the primary form of therapy for this newly diagnosed tumor, but it is a temporary fix. Experimental chemotherapy is also used; however, clinical trials have shown that the chemotherapy does not increase survival rates. Additionally, surgery is not an option as it can cause neurological damage and affect the body’s most vital functions.

Ultimately, the prognosis for DIPG is very poor, although a small percentage of patients can survive this disease, according to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The median survival is nine to 12 months, even with treatment.

The Bakersfield personal injury law firm of Chain | Cohn | Stiles is proud to support the Street family and the Nathan’s Army 5K as Nathan battles against this disease.

The goal of the event is to raise awareness of the disease and increase research funding. Sponsors and supporters of the 5K also hope to raise funds for Nathan’s medical treatment, along with any other costs that the Street family will inevitably incur as they endure this fight.

The cause of DIPG is not currently understood. There are no known factors or conditions that make your child more or less likely to develop this type of tumor, according to Boston’s Childrens Hospital.

All proceeds and donations to Nathan’s Army 5K will benefit Nathan Street and pediatric DIPG research. Giving to Legacy Behavioral Services, a nonprofit organization, will allow donations and sponsorship to be tax deductible.

All donors and sponsors are recognized on the Nathan’s Army Facebook page and on the race day.

The 5K, 3.1-mile run or walk will go through the historic Rio Bravo Ranch, which is on 9,000 acres of diverse and scenic landscape. The trail route will take you over rustic ranch roads and up through citrus orchards overlooking the majestic Kern River. The course is suitable for all ages and abilities, however, please keep in mind it is a trail run.

It will be a timed event with awards in age categories given at the conclusion of the race.

Registration starts at 6:45 a.m. with the 5K kicking off at 8 a.m. The kid’s fun-run will follow. The ranch is at 15701 Highway 178.

To sign up as a participant in the event, go to the Nathan’s Army Active.com page.

To learn more about DIPG:

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UPDATE:

  • The 5K was a huge success, and about 750 people participated in this event.
  • KERO-23 (ABC) covered the 5K, Watch the news story here.
  • See CCS employees participating in the 5K here.

CCS attorneys selected to ‘Top 100 Trial Lawyers’ list

June 16, 2014 | 10:31 am


Two of our Bakersfield personal injury lawyers and partners at Chain | Cohn | Stiles have been selected to join “The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers” for 2014.

Senior partners David V. Stiles and Matthew C. Clark have been invited to join the “Top 100” list, which is a premier group of attorneys who practice civil plaintiff law in the state of California. Additionally, Clark was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers’ “Top 40 under 40,” a professional organization comprised of America’s top young trial attorneys.

Membership into The National Trial Lawyers’ Top 40 under 40 is by invitation only, and is extended exclusively to those individuals who meet stringent qualifications and specialize in the legal practice of criminal defense or civil plaintiff, according to The National Trial Lawyers program.

As for the “Top 100,” it’s composed of the premier trial lawyers from across the country who exemplify superior qualifications as civil plaintiff or criminal defense trial lawyers. The national organization provides networking opportunities, advocacy training, and the highest quality educational programs for trial lawyers.

Only the top 100 trial lawyers from each state or highly-populated regions of certain states who are actively practicing in civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense law are eligible for invitation. Invitees must demonstrate superior qualifications, leadership skills, and trial results as a legal professional. The selection process for this elite honor is based on a multi-phase process which includes peer nominations combined with third party research.

Prospective members of The National Trial Lawyers’ are carefully screened prior to receiving an invitation for membership. The criteria used in the evaluation process include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Reputation among peers, the judiciary, and the public
  • The previous year’s achievements, settlements and verdicts as a trial lawyer
  • Board Certification as a trial lawyer or trial attorney
  • Nominations received from leading trial lawyers, current members and/or our executive committee members
  • Leadership and membership within other national and state trial lawyer organizations
  • Rankings and ratings of the attorney by established organizations.

As part of the selection, the attorneys at CCS will have their photos and biographies displayed on The National Trial Lawyers website. They’ll also receive a plaque, which CCS will proudly display in the lobby of our Bakersfield office, as well as highlight in our various social media sites.

Here’s a little more on the attorneys selected for this honor:

  • David V. Stiles is a senior partner in the firm. He is a Martindale-Hubbell AV preeminent rated trial attorney, who has tried over 50 cases to a jury.  He has been with the firm for over 35 years, and has extensive experience in personal injury and wrongful death cases. His areas of interest include auto/truck liability, oilfield accidents, nursing home abuses, and premises liability. Over his career, Stiles has recovered millions in settlements and verdicts for his clients, including a number of multi-million dollar results.  Most recently he obtained a multi-million dollar settlement for the victim of a truck accident, and high six figure verdicts in two trials involving, respectively, an oilfield accident and a fall accident.  He has successfully litigated numerous nursing home neglect cases, and is a Panelist of the California Association for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR).For more on Stiles, read his biography at chainlaw.com.
  • Matthew C. Clark is a senior partner with the firm and a recent graduate of the ABOTA National Trial College at Harvard Law School.  He was recently named a Rising Star in Southern California by Super Lawyers Magazine, an honor bestowed upon only 2.5% of lawyers under the age of 40.In 2011, Matthew obtained a six-figure verdict on behalf of his client in a public entity premises liability case.  He also was part of the team that helped secure a $10 million settlement on behalf of a client who suffered serious burn injuries in an oilfield accident.  For more on Clark, read his biography at chainlaw.com.

New Chain | Cohn | Stiles ad thanks Bakersfield, Kern County for voting us ‘the best’

June 12, 2014 | 8:48 am


The words are simple and sincere: “Thank you for making us Kern County’s best law firm. We stand for justice for you — the people of Kern County.”

This is the message that the Bakersfield-based personal injury law firm of Chain | Cohn | Stiles had for the entire Kern County community who voted the firm as “Best Law Firm” for 2014, and managing partner David K Cohn as a “favorite” lawyer.

The honors were unveiled in the May issue of Bakersfield Life Magazine, which is the “Best of Bakersfield” issue, where winners of The Bakersfield Californian’s Readers Choice Poll are announced each year. In that issue, CCS was chosen as the best law firm, and Cohn was chosen as one of the top three lawyers in Bakersfield. In fact, three lawyers at CCS — Cohn, Matt Clark and David Stiles — were nominated for the honor.

In the following June issue of Bakersfield Life Magazine, Chain | Cohn | Stiles wanted to thank those who voted for the law firm, and its lawyers, as the best in town. The law firm decided to feature a full-page ad in the June issue, thanking our Bakersfield community for choosing us. See the full ad HERE.

In the same issue of Bakersfield Life Magazine, CCS was featured in the Business Profile section for its 80-year anniversary. Included in the feature were various relevant questions and answer, such as:

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What is the history of Chain | Cohn | Stiles in Bakersfield?

Our law firm was founded in 1934 by Morris B. Chain, a local legend in Kern County courtrooms. Eventually, the firm developed practices in personal injury, wrongful death and social security disability, which are the core of the firm today. Some of the most respected names in local law were bred out of this firm, and our current attorneys continue to be the most respected in their fields – not only in Bakersfield and Kern County, but across the state.

Chain died in 1977, but his values are carried on today by David K. CohnDavid V. Stiles, six other dedicated attorneys and the firm’s professional staff.

How does Chain | Cohn | Stiles stand out from other firms today? 

As the oldest personal injury law firm in Bakersfield, with our attorneys and staff bred locally, we have an extra edge that a firm outside of Kern County – or in Kern County for that matter – would never have. We care about Kern County, and we hold those accountable to make sure our residents are treated properly.

What firm accomplishments stand out from the last 80 years?

Our firm has more multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements than any other local law firm, and we’ve recovered more than half a billion dollars on behalf of our clients. Besides that, our commitment to help those in our local community has made workplaces safer. We’ve consistently held large corporations accountable – oilfield and agriculture companies included –which, in turn, has made workplaces safer for our community’s workers.

We’re also very proud of the deep connection this firm has made with our community – the firm’s roots are embedded in giving back. Our attorneys sit on local boards, including Clinica Sierra Vista, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and CASA Kern County, among many others. And our employees give back in many ways, too, including hosting teams for March of Dimes and Relay for Life, sharing their expertise at the university level, and donating their time to volunteer for local causes.

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CCS plans to continue to thanks its local community through 2014 for its trust and confidence. Stay tuned to bloggingforjustice for more.

CCS senior partner Matt Clark named a 2014 Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine

June 6, 2014 | 6:19 am


Matthew C. Clark, senior partner with the Bakersfield personal injury law firm Chain | Cohn | Stiles, has been named a 2014 Southern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers magazine, the awards program announced today.

This is Clark’s second year in a row earning this honor, which is bestowed upon only 2.5 percent of lawyers under the age of 40 in our region.

He joins in his law partner David K. Cohn, managing partner with the Kern County-based law firm, in being recognized by Super Lawyers magazine. Cohn earlier this year was selected to the 2014 “Super Lawyers” for the third consecutive year. No more than 5 percent of lawyers in the region are selected, based on a high-degree of peer recognition and personal achievement.

Rising Star Clark concentrates his practice in the areas of personal injury, wrongful death and product liability. He earned an undergraduate degree at Loyola Marymount University and a law degree at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. He recently graduated from the ABOTA National Trial College at Harvard Law School.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations, according to Super Lawyers.

The magazine features the list and profiles of selected attorneys and is distributed to attorneys in the state or region and the ABA-accredited law school libraries. The list is also published as a special section in leading city and regional magazine across the country. In the United States, the magazine is published in all 50 states and Washington D.C., reaching more than 13 million readers.

This latest accolade add to the list of awards for Chain | Cohn | Stiles in 2014. Besides the Super Lawyers and Rising Stars awards, CCS has also awarded a “Certificate of Appreciation” from Mayor Harvey Hall and City of Bakersfield during a city council meeting for the law firm’s partnership in the “Freeway Litter Cleanup Project.”

And in May, Chain | Cohn | Stiles was voted “Best Law Firm,” and David K. Cohn was chosen as a “favorite” in the “Best Lawyer” category. It was the second year in a row that the law firm was honored in these two categories. The “best law firm” and “best lawyer” categories were added to The Bakersfield Californian’s Readers’ Choice Poll two years ago.