Pintas & Mullins works in tandem with another aggregator of plaintiffs that is all over the Black Lives Matter map: Ben Crump Law, which represents the families of Floyd, Blake, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and others.
"The Floyd family's call came through our office," says Pintas & Mullins partner Laura Mullins, referring to the wrongful-death case stemming from the May 25 death of Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
Pintas and Crump have a joint chief marketing officer (a veteran Chicago ad executive), joint public relations person and joint Chicago address. Long before Floyd, Taylor and Arbery died, the two firms were working with victims of the Flint, Mich., water crisis and cancer-stricken users of Roundup herbicide and Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products.
Mullins says her firm "operates and manages all aspects of" Crump's Tallahassee, Fla.-based firm. Both firms focus on corralling promising cases and referring many to other law firms with more expertise inside the courtroom and out.
Pintas makes no secret of this in its marketing. "We work in collaboration with (the) nation's top trial attorneys, so every client is matched with an aggressive attorney that specializes in their case type," its website proclaims.
Mullins says the firm has 10 lawyers among its 100-plus employees and has dealt with 300 law firms and 20,000 clients nationwide. It doesn't disclose revenue.
"Ben Crump is not a prosecutor or a criminal defense attorney," a spokeswoman for Crump says in an email. "He has built a national network of specialized lawyers who partner with him on cases to create the strongest possible expert teams. That's a strength, not a weakness, and it's how these highly charged and complex cases are best handled."
Pintas & Mullins builds pipelines to trial firms like Chicago's Romanucci & Blandin and Salvi Schostok & Pritchard in cases such as the ethylene oxide litigation related to the Sterigenics plant in Willowbrook.
Antonio Romanucci has commented on his work with Crump. Patrick Salvi Jr. declines to, other than to say his firm's Waukegan office is close to Kenosha, where Blake was shot seven times by police last month.
Crump and Pintas are using those established pipelines in Black Lives Matters cases. Romanucci is representing Floyd's heirs, and Salvi, the Blake family.
Mullins says her professional partner William Pintas, "as chief legal strategist on all high-profile cases, assembles a full legal team to join and follow Ben's lead."
The firms' first joint case was the Flint water litigation, according to Mullins, who commented in emails. She and Pintas decline to be interviewed.
Pintas, 59, founded a predecessor firm in 1985; Mullins, 50, joined in 1995. In 2013, Pintas was appointed an honorary counsel in Chicago for Mongolia, according to a press release that said he also was a principal in a lender offering presettlement financing.
A referral firm like Pintas can get a third of the legal fees usually contingent on successful outcomes and amounting to a third of the award or settlement—a third of a third. But there are risks—referring firms, like trial firms, assume professional responsibility and are liable if something goes wrong.
Marketing costs are another downside. Pintas & Mullins airs countless commercials targeting nursing AG亚洲国际游戏home neglect, clergy abuse, Boy Scout settlements, product liability and medical conditions like mesothelioma.
"They're on TV every single night. It's not cheap," says Chicago plaintiff's attorney Craig Mannarino. "It's an interesting model; it must work."
Pintas' and Crump's chief marketing officer, Bill Marks, worked on consumer-oriented accounts such as Denny's, Subway and Ulta at agencies FCB, Hal Riney and Havas, according to his LinkedIn profile.
On Aug. 31, Mullins and Pintas were in Los Angeles shooting a 30-minute TV program on nursing AG亚洲国际游戏home issues. A book they wrote, "Nursing AG亚洲国际游戏home Nightmares: Fighting for the Rights of Your Loved Ones," was published last year.
Another Chicago plaintiff's lawyer, Larry Rogers Jr., has won settlements of up to $16 million in high-profile police-shooting cases here involving Betty Jones and Tarance Etheredge. He also represents the family of Sandra Bland, the Chicago-area woman who died in custody after a traffic stop in Texas in 2015, and Diamond Reynolds, partner of Philando Castile, who was shot to death the following year by police in suburban St. Paul, Minn.
Despite his track record, Rogers says referrals haven't come from Pintas & Mullins or Crump.