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.

Bakersfield Life Magazine highlights CCS 80-year anniversary

June 4, 2014 | 10:03 am


The newest issue of Bakersfield Life Magazine featured an article of Chain | Cohn | Stiles, highlighting the firm’s 80-year anniversary. Below is the article, which covers the history of our firm, our accomplishments in the last 80 years, and what’s ahead for the Bakersfield personal injury law firm.

Read the June 2014 magazine article to learn more.

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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. Cohn, David 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.

Plus, we’re the only local firm to win “Best Law Firm” the last two years, and managing partner David Cohn has also been honored the last two years in the “Best Lawyer” category.

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.

How are you commemorating 80 years in our community?

We’ve partnered with the City of Bakersfield and the Bakersfield Homeless Center to adopt a portion of the Westside Parkway, where we employ our homeless resident to keep our roads clean and beautify Bakersfield. You’ll see our sign on the Parkway, near Coffee Road, as reminder of our loyalty and service to our community for the last 80 years, and decades to come.

You’ll also see us giving back to a variety of local causes and events, including the Kern County Corporate Challenge, where our firm is going head-to-head against local businesses for the nonprofit, League of Dreams. And there’s more. To keep up to date, visit our website and blog –  bloggingforjustice.com – and follow us on social media.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles founder Morris Chain honored with ‘100 Stars Award’

May 19, 2014 | 9:27 am


Bakersfield College hosted its 100th commencement on Friday, and Chain | Cohn | Stiles congratulates all of the graduates who took part in this special ceremony. The Bakersfield junior college is especially significant for our law firm, as our founder — Morris Chain — and managing partner David K. Cohn are graduates of the college.

As part of its centennial celebration, acknowledging the college’s accomplishments and impact in our community, college officials recognized 100 alumni, retirees and community members who had a great impact on Bakersfield College.

Each recipient of the 100 Stars Award received a medal from BC President Sonya Christian, and their biographies and pictures are placed in the trophy cabinet in the campus library, and also featured on the BC website.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles is proud to have Morris Chain featured as one of the 100 Stars. Chain died in 1977, and he has no immediate family in Bakersfield. Cohn accepted the award on his family’s behalf during the Bakersfield College student scholarship awards Honor Reception on May 9 in the Gil Bishop Gymnasium. Here is Morris Chain biography that was read during the awards ceremony.

It’s safe to say that without Morris B. Chain, one of the most prominent lawyers in Kern County history, there would be no Bakersfield College Renegades.

That’s because Chain, who played BC football for three years, dubbed the team as the “Renegades” in the 1920s.

Chain, who attended elementary and secondary schools in Bakersfield, also graduated from BC. He studied law at University of Southern California and eventually returned to Bakersfield, where he founded his own law firm in 1934.

He quickly rose to prominence throughout our community and in local courts, building his reputation as a champion of the underdog and laying the foundation for what has become San Joaquin Valley’s leading law firm. Awarded the coveted Bar and Bench Award by the Kern County Bar Association in 1976, local dignitaries described Chain as “one of the most remarkable men in the history of the community, and certainly in the history of the legal community of Kern County.”

Chain died in 1977. Today, Chain | Cohn | Stiles – celebrating its 80-year anniversary this year – carries on Morris Chain’s tradition of justice and community service.

Chain joined 99 other BC standouts who have made tremendous impacts in our community, and throughout the country. They include Congressman Kevin McCarthy, baseball player George Culver and Mayor Harvey Hall, among many others.

David K. Cohn: The most interesting man in the world?

May 7, 2014 | 9:34 am


He may not be “the most interesting man in the world” who you’ve probably seen on the beer commercials, but Chain | Cohn | Stiles managing partner and Bakersfield personal injury attorney David K. Cohn is close.

Bakersfield Life Magazine recently featured Cohn in the monthly “12 Random Things You Didn’t Know About …” section of the monthly Bakersfield publication. The section typically highlights a well-known personality in Kern County, who shares facts that most people around our community may not know.

Part of reason Cohn was chosen for this feature is because he has been practicing law for nearly 40 years, and today he is one of the most highly regarded personal injury lawyers in Kern County.

He’s also a scuba diver, an avid University of Southern California football fan and university alumnus, and a Bakersfield native.

Additionally, the feature story was included in the May 2014 issue of Bakersfield, which happens to the “Best of Bakersfield” issue, where the results of a city-wide poll by The Bakersfield Californian newspaper of everything related to Bakersfield are revealed. In the issue, Chain | Cohn | Stiles was voted by Bakersfield as the “Best Law Firm” for the second year in a row, and Cohn was voted as a “favorite” in the “Best Lawyer” category, also the second time he was chose for this category.

“… It’s in his practice where Cohn truly shines,” Bakersfield Life Magazine wrote in the recent issue, which you can find on newsstands around Kern County now. “In this year’s Best of Bakersfield competition, his firm — Chain | Cohn | Stiles — was voted Best Law Firm and Cohn bears the title of ‘Super Lawyer’ in Southern California, an honor bestowed upon only the top 5 percent of lawyers in the region.”

Among the random facts that Cohn shared with Bakersfield were:

  • Some of my first jobs included making pizzas at Pizzaville, vacuuming cars at Oak Street Car Wash and sweeping out box cars for Santa Fe Railroad.
  • I’ve known David Stiles, my law partner at Chain | Cohn | Stiles, since grade school. We attended Roosevelt Elementary.
  • I once dove down to 210 feet in the South Pacific. I also dove in Malaysia, Borneo, Micronesia and Tahiti.
  • If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would have been a pilot.
  • I’ve practiced law for nearly 40 years and have fought well over 10,000 cases in my career.

To see the rest of the random facts, read the online version HERE, or the magazine version HERE. And to read more about Cohn and his practice, see his biography HERE.

We’re the best, again! Thank you Kern County!

April 26, 2014 | 7:28 am


Thank you Kern County! You’ve chosen us as the best once again!

This morning, Bakersfield Life Magazine and The Bakersfield Californian unveiled the “Best of Kern County” winners – and we’re on top once again!

Chain | Cohn | Stiles has been voted “Best Law Firm,” and David K. Cohn was chosen as a “favorite” in the “Best Lawyer” category. This is the second year in a row that we have been 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, and we’ve been winner each year now.

The recognition would not be possible without all of you – the people of Kern County. Thank you for acknowledging the hard work our attorneys and staff put in every day. Thank you for voting us as your choice law firm and lawyer for 2014, and allowing us to serve Kern County for the last 80 years.

Our passion is to bring justice and protect the rights of local residents who have been seriously injured due to the negligent, reckless or intentional conduct of another. We also strive today to assist local residents in need of social security disability and workers’ compensation* cases.

The recognition and awards, simply, are icing on the cake.

So, once again, thank you for trusting us to stand for you. We’ve been named the best, and we will keep on working hard and fighting for you to continue to be the best.

Warm regards,

The staff and attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Stiles

Chain | Cohn | Stiles partners with city, homeless center in freeway litter cleanup project

April 16, 2014 | 10:00 am


It was Bakersfield’s Buck Owens who made the “Streets of Bakersfield” famous in the 1970s, through his iconic country music song. In recent years, however, those streets have become infamous for the litter that scatters the pavement. 

At Chain | Cohn | Stiles, we’re proud of our community, our city and our streets, and we wish to keep our city as clean and healthy as possible. 

This year, on our 80-year anniversary and as a gift to the city we’ve served during that time, we’ve sponsored the City of Bakersfield’s “Freeway Litter Cleanup Project.” Here’s how it works:

Our sponsorship dollars go to pay residents from the Bakersfield Homeless Center to clean up our portion of the newest Bakersfield freeway — the Westside Parkway. Our sponsored highway section is at Coffee Road, eastbound on the Parkway. (see the picture of our sign HERE).

The program is a win for everyone involved: it keeps our freeway clean, increases community pride, gives jobs to the homeless, and sponsorships keep costs down for  the city and homeless center.

The program — partnering the homeless center with the city, and local business — has been hailed nationwide by other county and city governments. 

Recently, Chain | Cohn | Stiles received a letter from Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall thanking us for our participation.

“Working together we will best this blight, that for too long has marred the landscape in our city,” Hall wrote in the letter.

To learn more about the program, click on the following links:

Chain | Cohn | Stiles helps family of boy severely burned from downed power line

April 8, 2014 | 3:28 pm


In June 2012, David N. was watering his yard in Ridgecrest when he heard a sizzle and a pop sound. A raven had landed on a power line, which then failed and caused the electrical wire to fall on a fence three houses away. As the fence caught fire, David ran to try to put it out, not knowing a power line was down in the area. 

While focused on fighting the fire, David didn’t notice that his son, 3 years old at the time, followed close behind. When he noticed his boy, David ran to move him away, but it was too late. The boy tripped over the electrical wire, which caused an electric jolt that burned both of his legs

The treatment that followed was long and painful for the boy, his mother Challice said. Chain | Cohn | Stiles, which represented the family, was there to support them, while they stayed at the Grossman Burn Center at San Joaquin Community Hospital and the courtroom.   

Chain | Cohn | Stiles senior partner Matthew C. Clark explained in easily understandable way to David and Challice, who had never been involved in the legal matters, how the legal process would work, Challice said. Clark gave them enough information to know what to expect and to make decisions, she said.

Plus, the family could focus on their son’s recovery without having to worry about their personal injury case, she said.

“We felt we could trust (Matt Clark) and the law firm,” Challice said. “It’s important to have a really good relationship with your lawyer. When we discussed the case, it was like chatting with a friend who was helping you through your life. Having that atmosphere really takes off a lot of stress.”

Recently, Clark and Chain | Cohn | Stiles helped settle the family’s lawsuit, which argued that a connector on the power line failed when the raven landed near it. The failure caused the wire to fall to the ground, putting residents there in danger.

Earlier this week, the family received our flier in the mail, which came with their AltaOne Federal Credit Union account statement. The boy, now 5, noticed Matthew Clark’s picture on the flier, and asked his mom if he could make it into a sticker.

“He’s now walking around with Mr. Clark’s photo on his chest,” Challice said. “He thinks he’s pretty cool now.”

She added: “Matt just treated us like family, and we appreciate that.”

Like the late Dr. Grossman, CCS devoted to providing care for burn victims

March 19, 2014 | 9:44 am


In 2009, San Joaquin Community Hospital established the Grossman Burn Center. Before then, Bakersfield and Kern County residents in need of specialized burn care had to travel more than 100 miles to Fresno or Los Angeles for treatment.

Since opening in Bakersfield, the Grossman Burn Center has averaged about 350 patients annually, according to The Bakersfield Californian.

Dr. A. Richard Grossman, for whom the center is named after, died recently at 81. The plastic and reconstructive surgeon pioneered care for burn patients in Sherman Oaks four decades ago. In the decades that followed, Grossman Burn Centers were established in Phoenix, Kansas City and, of course, in Bakersfield.

Like Grossman, the attorneys and staff at Chain | Cohn | Stiles for decades, too, have been devoted to providing proper care for burn victims in representing them. For this reason, Chain | Cohn | Stiles in 2009 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.”

“We’ve seen firsthand in our work representing burn victims how the Grossman Burn Center at SJCH provides world-class care,” CCS managing partner David K. Cohn said in 2012 during a ceremony acknowledging the donation. “It was important to us as a law firm and as part of this community to be part of bringing state-of-the-art burn care to Kern County. In addition, the Grossman Burn Center’s assistance to the families of children without sufficient financial resources to battle serious burn injuries is something we are very proud to support.”

Today, we honor Dr. Grossman for his work that still resonates.

To learn more about the local Grossman Burn Center and its services, visit www.sjch.us/burncenter. And to learn more about how Chain | Cohn | Stiles serves burn victims, go HERE.