We Prefer to Refer

ADTA We Prefer to Refer Award

Congratulations again to our 2023 award "Strubinger Award" recipient:

Jason "Jay" Casini
Whitfield & Eddy, PLC, Des Moines IA

Other Finalists for 2023:

Thomas J. Hurney, Jr., Jackson Kelly, PLLC, Charleston, WV

Heidi Goebel, Goebel Anderson, P.C., Salt Lake City, UT

Fred Rascke, Mills Shirley, LLP, Galveston, TX

G. Murrell Smith, Jr., Smith Robinson Holler Dubose & Morgan, LLC, Sumter, SC


Nominations can be submitted throughout the year for the ADTA members who best exemplify our mission of referring clients to other ADTA members. Please submit your nominations by March 1, as the winner will be announced at the Annual Meeting in April.

Your continued support of this award is key to unleashing the marketing potential embodied in our broad base network of top notch attorneys who comprise the ADTA.

Please note that nominations carry over for up to three years so there is more than one opportunity to be selected for each nomination received.

Who among the ranks of the ADTA has done the most in the last year to exemplify our commitment to referring clients to fellow members of the Association?

Once we receive your nominations, the We Prefer to Refer Committee will conduct a two-phased process, by narrowing the field to five finalists and then a second vote as among the finalists to select one recipient for the award, which will be presented during our annual meeting each year.

Your participation in the nominating process is vital and will ensure that all of those who deserve recognition will have the opportunity to be duly considered for this prestigious award.
In selecting your nominee, keep in mind the following guidelines. No one factor is dispositive:

  1. Number and quality of the referrals by the nominee.
  2. Number and quality of the attempted referrals.
  3. Number of ADTA members to whom business was referred by the nominee.
  4. Nominee's emphasis on the ADTA relationship as the basis for the referral.
  5. Result(s) of referral(s).

Previous Recipients

2022 Evelyn Fletcher Davis, Atlanta, GA
2021  Steven H. Gurnee, Roseville, CA
2020   R. Bruce Barze, Jr., Birmingham, AL
2019   Jeffery J. Carlson, Los Angeles, CA
2018   Dan Kohane, Buffalo, NY
2017   Daniel Balmert and Robert E. Tait, Akron and Columbus, OH
2016   Steven H. Gurnee, Roseville, CA
2015   David, W. Zizik, Canton, ,MA
2014   Matthew W. Bailey, Baton Rouge, LA
2013   Jean M. Lawler, Los Angeles, CA
2012   Fred Raschke, Galveston, TX
2011   Douglas M. McIntosh, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
2010   Robert H. Hood, Charleston, SC

Nomination Deadline:

Your deadline to submit nominations is January 31st. Submit early, submit often!

"We Prefer to Refer" Award Nomination Criteria


I. History and Purpose

At the 2009 Annual Meeting in Scottsdale Arizona, the Marketing Committee of ADTA introduced a new client referral network initiative, "We Prefer to Refer." As part of this program, the Marketing Committee created an award that will be given annually to the ADTA member who has best exemplified our commitment to refer business to other ADTA members. The first "We Prefer to Refer" Award was presented to Bobby Hood of Charleston, S.C. at the 2010 Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.

The participation of the members in the nominating process is vital and ensures that all of those who deserve recognition will have the opportunity to be duly considered for this prestigious award.

II. Procedure for Selection of Award Winner

A.     All current ADTA members may nominate other members for the award.
B.     The current Chairperson of the WPTR Committee shall serve as the vote organizer. If any member of the WPTR Committee has a business relationship with a nominee or is a nominee him/herself, then he/she will be excused from the voting process.
C.     The WPTR Committee will review the nominations that are timely submitted and meet the criteria listed in Section III.  From the nominations submitted by ADTA members, the WPTR Committee shall select up to five of the most-deserving candidates as finalists for the award. The rationale for the selection of such candidates shall be set forth by the WPTR Committee in a memorandum to the ADTA Board.
D.    The names of the five finalist, along with the memorandum relating to the action taking by the WPTR Committee, shall be submitted to the Board. The WPTR Committee will then vote among the five finalists, from which a winner of the award will be chosen.

III. Nomination Process and Format

1.      The nominator of a nominee must be a current ADTA member in good standing.
2.      The nominator may nominate anyone who meets the following criteria:
1.      The nominee must be a current ADTA prime or associate member in good standing or an ADTA member who has passed away since the last Annual Meeting;
2.      The nominee has referred or attempted to refer business to other ADTA members;
3.      The nominee attempting to make the referral has placed an emphasis on his/or ADTA relationship thereby increasing the profile of ADTA; and
4.      The ADTA membership of the lawyer receiving the referral was a significant reason for the referring lawyer's decision to make the referral.
3.      To ensure that the recipient of the "We Prefer to Refer" award is worthy of this honor, the WPTR Committee has adopted criteria that may be considered in both nominating and selecting the honoree. Items that may be considered include:
1.      Number and quality of the referrals by the nominee.
2.      Number and quality of the attempted referrals.
3.      Number of ADTA members to whom business was referred by the nominee.
4.      Nominee's emphasis on the ADTA relationship as the basis for the referral.
5.      Result(s) of referral(s).
4.      The nominator is encouraged to address as many of these criteria as possible in submitting an accurate and convincing presentation advocating the selection of his or her nominee.
5.      Nominations should be submitted online through the ADTA website portal. A nominator should also submit a detailed resume of the nominee, or a link to the nominee’s professional online bio, in order to assist the WPTR Committee in gathering details regarding the nominee.
6.      The deadline for nominations is January 31st of each year.

Thank you for your participation.

Kelly Brilleaux
Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, LLC
400 Poydras Street
Suite 2700
New Orleans, LA  70130 
[email protected]

Referral Reporting Form

Section I.

Section II.

Is this referral for a case you referred to another member, or for a case another member referred to you? If the nominee is someone other than yourself, please fill out the information below.

If this is a self-nomination, please continue to section III.

Section III.

About ADTA

An ADTA prime membership is, in essence, a statement of the high regard in which defense trial attorneys are held by his or her peers in the defense trial bar of their city and state or province.

Find an Attorney

We Prefer to Refer Award Nomination