Jacoby & Meyers

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Jacoby & Meyers
Headquarters Van Nuys, California
No. of offices 130+
No. of attorneys 300+
Major practice areas Personal Injury, Bankruptcy, Consumer fraud, Product liability, Social Security, Criminal Defense, Medical Malpractice and Mass Torts/Pharmaceutical Litigation.
Key people Leonard Jacoby (Founding Partner)
Stephen Meyers (Founding Partner, deceased)
Gail Koff (Founding Partner, deceased) Andrew Finkelstein (New York Managing Attorney)
Date founded 1972
Company type Partnership (United States)
Website
Company website

Jacoby & Meyers is an American law firm established as a partnership by Len Jacoby and Steve Meyers (1943-1996) that used an extensive advertising campaign to build exposure and awareness of the firm, growing from a single storefront to as many as 150 offices in Arizona, California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. It now has more than 300 attorneys practicing law in all 50 states.

Meyers died in 1996, age 53, in New Fairfield, Connecticut.[citation needed]

History[edit]

The firm was founded in September 1972 by Len Jacoby and Steve Meyers (who had met as students at UCLA School of Law); its first office was a storefront in the Van Nuys section of Los Angeles.[1] During the 1980s, the firm rode a wave of television advertising, expanding to 150 offices, mostly in the Southwest and Northeast. With a strategy that focused on serving "middle-class individuals", Jacoby & Myers offered free consultations and flat fees for standard cases.[2] The local stores were staffed by general practitioners who used a company-developed system for filing and tracking each case, which could then be referred to specialized units that focused on areas such as bankruptcy, consumer law, criminal law, divorce law, and personal injury law. The firm had garnered much publicity for itself after holding an open house for the media at their offices, which the State Bar of California deemed to be a form of advertising in breach of its code of ethics. After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned restrictions on legal advertising in the United States in the 1977 case Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, Jacoby & Meyers placed their first print ad in the Los Angeles Times the following day and aired their first television commercials within days, making it the first U.S. law firm to advertise on television.[1][3]

Innovations[edit]

Following the firm's formation, the legal community faced a market saturated with lawyers and law firms that adopted many of Jacoby & Meyers' innovations, accepting credit card payments, charging flat fees, and using computer systems to track cases. By 2010 the firm's television advertising spending exceeded $10 million per year. The firm had products that focused on personal injury, mass torts (pharmaceutical litigation) where litigation was more lucrative, product liability, consumer legal services and legal forms, but began expanding its practice in bankruptcy, Social Security, and criminal defense.[4]

In October 2012 the firm "began selling online legal forms" as one of the first law firms to follow in the footsteps of "no-frills" legal startups such as LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer.[5]

In 2011, Jacoby & Meyers challenged the constitutionality of R.B.C 5.4, New Jersey's ban on non-lawyer ownership of a law firm. In 2014, Jacoby & Meyers voluntarily dismissed the case. [6]

Expansion[edit]

In 2011 Jacoby & Meyers began even greater and more aggressive expansion plans, internationally as well as domestically. The law firm again pioneered innovation in the legal industry by taking the lead in exploring Alternative Business Structures (ABS), similar to those already underway in the United Kingdom and Australia. The firm undertook legal action to allow non-lawyers to invest in U.S. law firms. Jacoby & Meyers filed federal lawsuits in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut in 2011 seeking to change bar association rules that curtail its ability to raise capital from outside non-lawyer investors.

In July 2012, Jacoby & Meyers, which had become the largest U.S. full-service consumer law firm, merged with Macey Bankruptcy Law, P.C., the nation's largest consumer bankruptcy firm. Macey's headquarters are in Chicago.[7] This merger was the largest consolidation of consumer law firms in U.S. history. Jacoby & Meyers-Bankruptcy, L.L.P., is planning to move to the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) to serve bankruptcy clients, and expand its personal injury practice in the Chicago area.

Jacoby & Meyers further separated itself from other U.S. consumer law firms by having a branded legal footprint more than four times the size of its closest American law firm competitor, with Jacoby & Meyers, LLCs and LLPs in many different practice areas and jurisdictions throughout the U.S. Jacoby & Meyers now employs more than 310 attorneys and 600 non-attorney staff, and has positioned itself to serve a larger population of consumers in need of legal services. Jacoby & Meyers, known for its work for injury victims, continues its expansion deeper into other practice areas, including further growth in 2012 in the areas of personal injury, mass torts (pharmaceutical litigation), criminal defense, Social Security, and other core consumer practice areas.

In addition to serving consumers with standard civil legal services, Jacoby and Meyers has expanded greatly into the realm of immigration law. The firm’s primary focus is in deportation defense and family/work based immigrant petitions. The firm has used the virtual office technique to provide immigration legal services to clients in rural areas as well as clients outside the United States who traditionally would not have access to immigration attorneys.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hevesi, Dennis. "Gail Koff, Principal in Jacoby & Meyers, Dies at 65", New York Times, September 2, 2010. Accessed September 3, 2010.
  2. ^ Noble, Kenneth . "Breakup of a Legal Duo: Jacoby v. Meyers", New York Times, October 21, 1995. Accessed September 3, 2010.
  3. ^ Thomas, Robert McG., Jr. "Stephen Meyers, 53, Legal Innovator, Dies", New York Times, April 21, 1996. Accessed September 3, 2010. "A day later Jacoby & Meyers ran their first ad, in the Los Angeles Times, and within a few days after that the firm was on the air with the nation's first legal commercial."
  4. ^ Kennedy, Randy. "Groundbreaking Law Firm Shifts Its Focus to Personal-Injury Cases", New York Times, May 12, 1995. Accessed September 3, 2010.
  5. ^ Smith, Jennifer (3 December 2012). "Rivalry Grows Among No-Frill Legal Services". Wall Street Journal. 
  6. ^ Kopstein, Rick. "Jacoby & Meyers Drops Bid for Nonlawyer Equity Stake", NJ Law Journal, July 29, 2014. Accessed August 8, 2010.
  7. ^ PR Web. "America's Most Familiar Law Firm Brand Merges With America's Largest Bankruptcy Firm", July 10, 2012.

External links[edit]