Chain | Cohn | Stiles: ‘Standing for Justice’ in Kern County for 85 Years

June 26, 2019 | 6:00 am


The year is 1934. The great Dust Bowl storm is sweeping across the Great Plains of the United States. Donald Duck premieres on television. And the FBI kills Bonnie and Clyde in a shootout in a Louisiana.

It’s also the year Morris B. Chain first set up shop in the Haberfelde Building in downtown Bakersfield. The Russian immigrant who grew up in Bakersfield had recently earned his law degree from University of Southern California and struggled to find a law firm that would hire a fresh-faced attorney. It was, after all, during the Great Depression era when “help wanted” signs were nowhere to be found. So, he made his own opportunity. He opened his own law practice, and began laying the foundation for what would become one of Central Valley’s most prominent and longstanding law firms, one whose mission became to fight for the everyday working man and woman.

The firm’s name has changed through the years — using variations of the law firm partners, including “Chain-Younger” for many years — but several things have remained constant. The most obvious: the Chain namesake has remained, and the firm today is known Chain | Cohn | Stiles.

Another constant: For 85 years, the firm has been firmly cemented in downtown Bakersfield, and its office dedicated to helping our area’s residents in their time of greatest need.

For 2019, Chain | Cohn | Stiles is marking the 85-year anniversary in several ways:

  • The law firm is giving back to the community it has called home for 85 years. The law firm donated $10,000 to the Bakersfield Homeless Center in an effort to combat our community’s homeless epidemic, specifically the homeless center’s job skills training program and street cleaning team focusing on downtown Bakersfield.
  • Chain | Cohn | Stiles has released several videos focused on the history of the law firm. In the videos, law firm partners David Cohn, Jim Yoro, and Matt Clark share stories of the law firm’s origins, and its values that remain true today. Videos include:
  • The firm is serving as the presenting sponsor for the 2019 “Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash” — benefiting the Kern County chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving — to help raise awareness of the DUI problem locally, help crash victims, and help fundraise for local educational programs.
  • Chain | Cohn | Stiles is giving away items branded with the firm’s anniversary logo, including bags, portable chargers, and gift cards!
  • The law firm was featured as one of three organizations inducted into the inaugural “Best of Kern County” Hall of Fame, awarded to organizations with a long history of excellence in their respective fields, and who also give back to our community.
  • More is still to come! Stay tuned for surprises commemorating Chain | Cohn | Stiles’ 85-year anniversary.

As for the history of the law firm, The Bakersfield Californian in 2014 featured an article on what was then the law firm’s 80-year anniversary. You can read that article below, which has been updated to include news from the last five years, as well as several relevant links at the bottom of the page.

———

BAKERSFIELD ROOTS

Though born in Russia in 1904, Morris Chain developed his Bakersfield roots early. His father ran a store on 19th Street, and Chain attended Kern County Union High School and Bakersfield Junior College.

At BC, Chain is credited for coming up with the nickname “Renegades” while on the football team. It was in school, too, where Chain developed his love for drama, participating in speech, debate and theater – skills he would use throughout his career in the courtroom.

Known as a showman, Chain was also hard-working and aggressive. Making little money after opening his shop in 1934, he worked long 18-hour days, investigating his own cases with camera and subpoenas in hand. Car-less, he hitched rides with prosecuting attorneys on cases he was defending.

“If young lawyers today had to go through what I went through, I don’t think they would even enter the profession,” he told The Bakersfield Californian in 1976.

The hard work led to success. Chain moved into the Sill Building in 1938, on 18th Street and Chester Avenue, where he would become known for taking on some of the highest-profile criminal cases in the area, while also helping the everyday person.

In Chain’s obituary in 1977, Californian columnist Eddie Griffith wrote that “this stemmed from his continued life-long interest in the ‘little guy’ and the problem of the downtrodden, generally.”

“The greatest compliment you can get is from the little guy you do a lot of work for and who comes up and says thanks, you did a hell of a job,” Chain told The Bakersfield California.

With success, Chain’s team grew.

 

LOCAL LEADING LAWYERS 

The firm’s attorneys would also become servants to the local community, becoming leaders in local and statewide Democratic politics, labor and the arts, following Chain’s lead to serve the hometown. Most of the lawyers through the firm’s 80 years, including today, were either born or raised locally.

In 1936, Chain ran for Kern County District Attorney, but lost. Chain received the coveted Kern County Bench and Bar Award in 1976, recognizing outstanding service to the administration of justice and the legal profession.

In the 1970s, the firm moved over to the building on Truxtun Avenue and M Street. The year Chain died, 1977, he was praised for being “one of the most remarkable men in the history of the community and certainly in the history of the legal community of Kern County,” according to a Californian article on his death.

Through the 1980s, the firm was ahead of the curve in race relations in Bakersfield, including forming relationships with the local Sikh community, and hiring Latino, black and Asian attorneys and staff.  Whites numbered 80 percent of the Kern County population, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures, but the minority population was ever increasing (today Latinos make up more than 50 percent).

“The firm promoted diversity long before it was even discussed in the mainstream,” said Robert Tafoya, Kern County Superior Court judge and attorney at Chain, Younger, Cohn and Stiles in the 1990s. “They were visionaries in having a diverse workforce.”

Tafoya joined the firm even after opening his own firm, calling the Chain firm “a major player in the community.”

“I was a fly on the wall, watching and asking questions,” Tafoya said. “I learned a lot at the firm about serving the community.”

The firm’s stellar reputation also attracted Gary Ingle – a retired Kern County Superior Court judge and attorney at the firm from the late 1970s to early 1980s.

“In my mind, the firm had the best reputation in town,” Ingle said. “They had flashy cases, but they were smart lawyers who made some good law.”

He continued: “The attorneys at the firm have always advertised themselves as being the working man’s attorney. I think that’s truly the case.”

In the courtroom, the law firm’s staff focused on making the world safer, said David Cohn, current managing attorney.

Since the Chain era, case results at the firm have led to significant changes: oilfield equipment and machinery have been made safer to reduce injuries, child car seats now require crash testing to make them more reliable, and turkey fryers have been revamped to prevent burns and injuries, for example.

Still today, the attorneys at firm remain at the forefront of civil law. The firm continues to take on high-profile wrongful death, work accident, and other personal injury cases.

Among its current lawyers, James Yoro is one of the most veteran workers’ compensation lawyers in the state, having appeared in front of the Supreme Court; Cohn continues to be lead counsel on some of the highest profile civil cases in Kern County; and Matt Clark, 42, has regularly been recognized in legal circles as a top up-and-coming attorney.

 

85 YEARS

At its largest stage, the Chain law firm had 18 attorneys and offered a multitude of legal services including family law and criminal defense. Today, the firm focuses only on accidents, injuries and workers’ compensation cases.

In 1990, the firm moved into the Bank of America building on Truxtun and Chester avenues, where it remained for 25 years. The law firm’s name changed to its current title to Chain | Cohn | Stiles in 2009, and today includes seven attorneys. Continuing a legacy of diversity, the firm includes Yoro, a Filipino; Beatriz Trejo, a rising leader in Kern County’s Latino community; and Tanya Alsheikh, who is fluent in Arabic.

As for advocacy and community commitment, the firm continues to take on cases aimed “to make our world better,” Cohn said, while also donating time and effort to local worthy causes. The firm is a presenting sponsor and organizer of a walk and run hosted by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Kern County, gives away hundreds of bicycle lights and safety helmets each year with Bike Bakersfield, and this year donated to a Bakersfield Homeless Center program to combat our area’s homeless epidemic.

Through the years, it was important to keep the Chain name on the firm’s masthead as a symbol to local civic and community effort, Cohn said.

“The name takes us back to our roots,” Cohn said. “Morris Chain’s mission to stand up for the little guy is what founded this firm, and influences everything we do 85 years later – even those of us coming after him. It’s the guiding principal of everything we do.”

In 2015, the firm moved into a 30,000-square-foot historical building at 18th Street and Chester Avenue – occupied previously by the Goodwill Industries of South Central California.

“This move came at a special time, as we celebrated our 80th anniversary,” Cohn told media during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the building. “We hope this new office will better serve our clients, and will help in the ongoing revitalization of downtown Bakersfield. And we look forward to serving Kern County for another 80 years.”

In recent year, Chain | Cohn | Stiles has been inducted into the inaugural “Best of Kern County Hall of Fame,” awarded to men, women, businesses, and organizations with a long history of excellence in their respective fields, and who also give back to our community. The law firm has also been selected for inclusion in the 2019 “Best Law Firms” list by U.S. News & World Report.

Still, the new home of the firm is stark contrast to the way Chain first started his career, said local historian Gilbert Gia. But the law firm’s new home will have a view of Chain’s previous homes, including his first office in the Haberfelde building.

“When we look at the law firm today, we see a monolithic edifice, but the law firm started out in humble beginnings,” Gia said. “The firm today, inside of the walls, seems to be sticking to its roots.”

 

THE CHAIN GANG

Here are a few local attorneys, judges and legal professionals who have worked at the law firm founded by Morris Chain:

JUDGES

  • Gary Ingle: Kern County Superior Court judge, practiced in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
  • Stephen Schuett: Kern County Superior Court judge, practiced at Chain in the 1980s.
  • Louis P. Etcheverry: Kern County Superior Court judge, practiced in the 1980s.
  • Robert Tafoya: Kern County Superior Court judge, practiced from 1995 to 2002.

CHAIN | COHN | STILES TODAY

  • David Cohn: Current managing partner, having served under the Chain name for nearly 45 years.
  • James Yoro: Partner, managing the workers’ compensation division, who has worked at Chain for 34 years.
  • Matt Clark: Partner, joining the firm in 2006.
  • Associates: Tanya Alsheikh, Chad Boyles, Doug Fitz-Simmons, and Beatriz Trejo.
  • With the exception of Fitz-Simmons, all attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Stiles were raised in Bakersfield.

NO LONGER PRACTICING

  • Paul Busacca: Partner in the 1970s and 1980s, now deceased.
  • Paul Welchans: Practiced at the Chain firm for 30 years, retired in 2012.
  • John Tello: Served at the Chain firm from the early 1980s until 2004.

IN HISTORY

  • Morris B. Chain: Namesake and founder of the Chain law firm; died in 1977.
  • Milton Younger: Joined Chain full time in 1956, and remained at the firm for 53 years; he died in 2018.
  • Timothy Lemucchi: Joined Chain in 1965, and remained at the firm for 30 years; now practices at Law Office of Timothy Lemucchi.
  • Leonard Winters: Investigator working directly with Chain at the firm for more than three decades. He joined Chain after first helping him in 1946 in his unsuccessful campaign for Kern County District Attorney – reportedly one of the only investigators working for an attorney at the time; now deceased.
  • Noriegas: Al Noriega, now deceased, began as a law clerk working directly with Chain. His son, James Edward Noriega, would also go on to work at the firm. He now practices at Law Office of James E. Noriega.
  • Daniel Rodriguez: Worked at the Chain law firm through the 1980s; now practices at Rodriguez & Associates.
  • Others: Rod Williams, Dustin Jameson, Todd Berry, Frank Butkiewicz, Scott Fontes, Stephen Klink, Indra Lahiri.

———

YOU MIGHT ALSO BE INTERESTED IN …

Chain | Cohn | Stiles donates $10,000 for Bakersfield Homeless Center jobs program

April 3, 2019 | 11:41 am


Chain | Cohn | Stiles law firm has donated $10,000 to the Bakersfield Homeless Center in an effort to combat our community’s homeless epidemic.

The donation will go toward the homeless center’s job skills training program and street cleaning team focusing on downtown Bakersfield. In short, the program helps homeless center residents move forward with their lives while making a difference in our community. The program is designed to be a transitional program, where participants gain real-world skills, build confidence, and develop experience to find long-term employment.

The donation comes on the heels of a Kern County Homeless Collaborative report that found a 50 percent increase in the local homeless population over last year’s count, with over 1,330 people locally experiencing homelessness. Large efforts by City of Bakersfield and Kern County to tackle the issue are underway.

“Sadly, we see the effects of homelessness every day on the streets in downtown Bakersfield and outside our own office,” said David Cohn, managing partner of the law firm. “If there is something we can all do to help homeless center residents out of homelessness, while at the same time making sure our city is presented as the jewel that it is, then we should all help. All downtown businesses are impacted by homelessness, and I would encourage others to step forward, and help support a solution.”

Added Louis Gill, executive director of the Bakersfield Homeless Center: “The dedication of Chain | Cohn | Stiles to invest in our community and the lives of everyone who lives in it is on full display as they lead the way with support for our Downtown Street Ambassador program.  We are grateful for their partnership in this program which provides employment opportunities for people seeking to improve their lives, beautifies areas around downtown businesses, and reaches out to homeless individuals through compassion and resources.”

Currently, there are more than 80 people participating in the homeless center’s jobs program. The Downtown Street Ambassadors program was first implemented by the Downtown Bakersfield Development Corporation in partnership with Bakersfield Homeless Center, Garden Pathways, The Mission at Kern County and Keep Bakersfield Beautiful.

The donation also falls on the 85-year anniversary for Chain | Cohn | Stiles, which has been housed consistently in downtown Bakersfield during its history – from the Haberfelde Building, to the Sill Building, Bank of America, and its current home today.

———

If you or someone you know is injured in an accident, please call the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Stiles at (661) 323-4000, or chat with us online at chainlaw.com.

———

MEDIA COVERAGE

Chain | Cohn | Stiles Newsletter: Remembering 2016, looking ahead to 2017

January 11, 2017 | 9:28 am


Editor’s Note: The following was published in an e-newsletter sent out to those signed up to receive the Chain | Cohn | Stiles newsletter. View it in your browser here. To keep up with the latest news, contests and updates from Chain | Cohn | Stiles, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to input your email address into the “newsletter sign-up” section.

———

A Happy New Year to you from all of us at Chain | Cohn | Stiles! As Albert Einstein once said, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”

Along those lines, we wanted to make you aware of some of the activities we’ve been involved with since the last time we checked in with you: 

  • We were the presenting sponsor for annual Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash 5K, which raised more than $62,000 to fight against drinking and driving locally.

Today, Chain | Cohn | Stiles is continuing its work in serving our community, and representing injury and accident victims. For example … 

  • We joined local Spanish media to help answer legal questions from our Hispanic residents of Kern County.

And lastly, keep an eye out for Chain | Cohn | Stiles in 2017 in the following:  

  • Chain | Cohn | Stiles has been nominated as “Best Law Firm” in the Best of Kern County poll, and partners David Cohn and Matt Clark in the “Best Lawyer” category. We would be honored to have your vote! Go to bestofkern.com to vote.
  • We’ll be the presenting sponsor once again for the Bakersfield Walk Like MADD & MADD Dash 5K, scheduled for Sept. 23, 2017, at Park at River Walk. Join us in the fight against drunk driving in Kern County.
  • Keep an eye out for new videos on our website, chainlaw.com, and your television.

We wish you a healthy and happy 2017. Keep up with Chain | Cohn | Stiles activities throughout the year by following our various social media pages listed below, which are updated daily, as well as our blog, Blogging for Justice.

Warm Regards,

All of us at Chain | Cohn | Stiles

———

If you or someone you know is injured at the fault of someone else, please contact the lawyers at Chain | Cohn | Stiles for help by calling (661) 323-4000, or visit the website chainlaw.com for more information.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles sponsors free admission day at Bakersfield Museum of Art on ‘National Day of the Teacher’

April 27, 2016 | 8:09 am


In 1956, the Walter Osborn family founded the Bakersfield Museum of Art. Today, on the 60th anniversary, the museum continues to enhance the quality of life through art appreciation and educational opportunities in the visual arts for Bakersfield and Kern County residents and visitors.

As part of the 60th anniversary of its founding, the museum is hosting exhibitions, education programs and special events celebrating the important milestone, including “Sponsor a Day” for free admission into the museum.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles is proud to sponsor the day of Tuesday, May 3, 2016 — which is the National Day of the Teacher — as a free admission day for all to the Bakersfield Museum of Art.

In its 60-year history, the museum has provided outstanding exhibits and offered unique educational opportunities in the visual arts to Bakersfield and its surrounding communities.

“We’re thrilled to be able to open the doors to the museum for free to everyone for the day, especially to our valued educators in Kern County,” said David K. Cohn, managing partner at Chain | Cohn | Stiles. “We’re dedicating this day at the museum to all teachers on National Day of the Teacher.”

For nearly 50 years, Chain | Cohn | Stiles has worked with local teachers and school employee unions through the Group Law Services program to provide quality legal help for working people in Kern County. Group Law Services members and their immediate family members are entitled to free initial consultations, reduced fees if ever in need of help from our law firm, and other benefits. Free admission day is just one of those benefits.

The nonprofit Bakersfield Museum of Art has been celebrating its 60-year milestone all year. In January, the museum opened its winter exhibition, “Celebrating 60 Years: The Life and Work of Marion Osborn Cunningham.” The exhibit included artwork pieces that have local ties. Cunningham became a successful and innovative artist in San Francisco, noted for her renderings of cable cars.

Another special event at the museum this year is the Driven by Art public art project, which celebrates the bond between the museum and the greater community of Bakersfield.

“This will be the largest and friendliest outdoor public art event Kern County has ever witnessed,” according to the museum.

Dozens of three-dimensional fiberglass 1956 nostalgic pickup trucks will decorated, embellished and festooned by the area’s leading artists, and the trucks will be parked downtown on street corners, sidewalks, parks and alongside roadways to greet everyone who passes by.

The museum on Tuesday, May 3, will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is located at 1930 R St., between 19th and 20th streets.

———

If you or someone you know is ever injured in an accident, contact the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Stiles at (661) 323-4000, or visit the website chainlaw.com.

David K. Cohn selected into West High School’s inaugural hall of fame

February 24, 2016 | 9:39 am


Chain | Cohn | Stiles managing partner David K. Cohn has been selected as one of the 10 inductees into Bakersfield’s West High School‘s inaugural hall of fame.

The first hall of fame selections come as West High School celebrates its 50th year of operation. David Cohn was in the class of 1968 at West High. The induction ceremony will be held on Saturday, Feb. 27, at Msgr. Leddy Hall at Garces Memorial High School.

“It’s an honor to be selected to West High’s inaugural hall of fame, especially in light of all of the past outstanding students who graduated from the historic school,” Cohn said.

Below is the West High School hall of fame biography for David Cohn.

———

David K. Cohn is the managing partner of the Bakersfield-based law firm Chain | Cohn | Stiles, and is one of the most highly regarded trial lawyers in the San Joaquin Valley.

David grew up in Bakersfield, graduating from West High School in 1968. At West High, David participated on the Norsemen team, playing positions of halfback and defensive end. He also ran the 4 x 100 relay team and the 220 distance.

David went on to receive his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California, and shortly thereafter, he obtained his law degree from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. Following graduation, David returned to Bakersfield, joined the now 80-year-old law firm and eventually became its managing partner in 2000.

David was voted “Best Lawyer” in Kern County in the 2015 Bakersfield Californian Readers’ Choice Poll. He has also been named a Southern California “Super Lawyer,” an honor bestowed upon only the top 5 percent of lawyers in the region.

David is a member of the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates, where he holds the rank of Associate, and also serves as the vice president for the San Joaquin Valley Chapter. He has also previously served on the Board of Governors for the Consumer Attorneys of California and as past President of the Kern County Trial Lawyers Association. Recently, he was selected to join the International Society of Barristers, a widely-respected invitation-only group whose aim it is to preserve trial by jury, the adversary system and an independent judiciary.

Outside of his profession, David has served on Board of Directors for Clinica Sierra Vista, and of the City of Bakersfield’s Planning Commission. He was chairman of the Board of Directors for Bakersfield Museum of Art from 2004 to 2005.

Over the course of his career, David has obtained numerous multi-million dollar results on behalf of his clients.

Above all, David is a proud West High School alum. For more on David Cohn, go to www.chainlaw.com.

———

MEDIA COVERAGE

Happy Birthday Delano! Chain | Cohn | Stiles helps Kern County city celebrate centennial anniversary

April 14, 2015 | 6:00 am


In 1873, Southern Pacific Railroad decided to build a post between Kern and Tulare counties. They named the area in honor of Columbus Delano, the U.S. Secretary of Interior at the time.

Forty-two years later — on April 13, 1915 — the City of Delano was officially incorporated. And 100 years later, today, Delano is celebrating 100 years.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles is proud to be a sponsor of Delano’s Centennial Celebration, culminating with a parade and festival on Saturday, April 18. The City of Delano held a birthday party celebration on April 13, the day the city was incorporated.

As the Delano100.com website explains, Delano has long been regarded as an “international community,” populated by people whose origins are from Mexico, Spain, China, France, Japan, Philippines, Russia and India, among others. Last year, for example, thousands congregated in Delano for a month’s worth of events designed to unite, celebrate and commemorate the Kern County city’s large Filipino population. It was the city’s 40th Philippine Weekend.

And the area has long been known for its agriculture and its farmers, who have the task of feeding the world. In the 1960s, for example, Delano became known as the headquarters of the United Farm Workers and its efforts to organize farm workers.

Today, the city hosts some of the best schools in Kern County, and is being continues to develop commercially and attract various large industries, according to Delano100.com. In fact, Delano is being revitalized with a new 160-acre commercial center and residential growth.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles and its attorneys are proud to support the celebrations honoring the City of Delano. In fact, workers’ compensation* lawyer James Yoro, who is Filipino, takes part each year in Philippine Weekend.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles often takes park in the Delano Chamber of Commerce‘s street fairs, which give CCS a chance to answer Delano resident’s legal questions, share tips and information, and give out CCS goodies to the families in Delano.

For Delano’s Centennial celebration, the city has been host to several events already.

  • Delano held a “Centennial Celebration Gala” on Jan. 31.
  • The “Delano Centennial Music Memorial” was held Feb. 26.
  • The “Centennial Music In Our Schools” program was held March 26.
  • The “Centennial City Walk and Earth Day Celebration” was held March 28.
  • The “Happy Birthday City of Delano” event was held April 13.
  • Finally, the “Centennial Parade and Festival” will be held Saturday, April 18, which will feature vendors, concessionaires and exhibitors. The parade begins at 10 a.m. in downtown Main Street after the Kiwanis Club Pancake Breakfast. The festival follows the parade at 12 p.m. at Cecil Park and will feature food, games and fireworks.

For more information on the Centennial celebration, visit the Delano100 website by clicking here.

Local newspaper highlights 80-year history of ‘Chain’ law firm

December 23, 2014 | 8:40 am


This year — 2014 — has been a noteworthy one for Chain | Cohn | Stiles. Besides helping hundreds of injured victims get their lives back in order, the Bakersfield personal injury law firm this year was named “Best Law Firm” in Bakersfield.

The law firm in 2014 also commemorated its 80-year anniversary of serving the people of Kern County, San Joaquin Valley and throughout California.

Recently, The Bakersfield Californian‘s Eye Street lifestyle section featured an article on the law firm’s history, its founder Morris Chain, the staff and attorneys who have served under the Chain name, and on the firm’s longtime standing in downtown Bakersfield.

The article states:

When Morris B. Chain left the University of Southern California in 1934, law degree in hand, the fresh-faced lawyer didn’t find many help-wanted signs in Depression-era Bakersfield. So he made his own opportunity.

Opening a practice in the Haberfelde Building downtown, the Russian emigre, who grew up in Bakersfield, began laying the foundation for what would become one of the most prominent and longstanding law firms in the valley.

And now, on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the practice’s founding, the film is on the move again. In 2015, the seven attorneys at what is now called Chain Cohn Stiles will set up shop in a newly purchased, 30,000-square-foot historical building at 18th Street and Chester Avenue, occupied most recently by the Goodwill Industries of South Central California. 

The view from the east-facing building: The Haberfelde Building, where Chain started it all.

“The greatest compliment you can get is from the little guy you do a lot of work for and who comes up and says thanks, you did a hell of a job,” Chain told The Californian in 1976. 

To read the full article on Bakersfield.com, click here.

The article continues to describe how Morris Chain started the firm, how the firm promoted diversity in the workplace, its movement throughout downtown Bakersfield offices, and the attorneys through the history of the firm. The article also featured several historical photos of the attorneys and staff.

The article continues:

At its largest stage, the Chain law firm had 18 attorneys and offered a multitude of legal services, including family law and criminal defense. Today, the firm focuses only on personal injury and workers’ compensation cases.

In 1990, it moved from its headquarters on Truxtun Avenue and M Street into the Bank of America building on Truxtun and Chester. The name was changed to Chain, Cohn, Stiles in 2009, and the practice now employs seven attorneys: David Cohn, managing partner, who has been with the firm 40 years; partner David Stiles, with the firm 37 years; partner James Yoro, with the firm 32 years; partner Matt Clark, who joined in 2006; and associates Marshall Frasher, Chad Boyles and Neil Gehlawat. Nicole Jaramillo will join Chain Cohn Stiles in 2015.

Through the years, it was important to keep the Chain name on the firm’s masthead as a symbol to local civic and community effort, Cohn said.

“The name takes us back to our roots. Morris Chain’s mission to stand up for the little guy is what founded this firm, and influences everything we do 80 years later, even those of us coming after him. It’s the guiding principal of everything we do.”

To learn more about the Chain firm, visit the website www.chainlaw.com.

Local magazine highlights law firm’s 80-year anniversary

December 3, 2014 | 9:31 am


Eighty years ago, Morris B. Chain set up shop in the Haberfelde building in downtown Bakersfield. He quickly became one of the San Joaquin Valley’s most prolific attorneys, and laid the foundation for one of Kern County’s leading law firms, Chain | Cohn | Stiles.

Bakersfield Life Magazine, in its latest December issue, highlighted the Bakersfield-based personal injury law firm’s 80-year anniversary, which is this year.

You can view the article by clicking here.

The article continues:

—–

“Chain led a successful practice that, through the years, has been filled mostly with attorneys and staff with deep local roots. Like Chain, their mission has been to fight for ‘the little guy.’

Today, the firm that still bears the Chain name is celebrating 80 years in Bakersfield. Though the name has changed through the years, today’s law firm, Chain Cohn Stiles, remains one of the best-known legal firms in Kern County.

This year, Chain Cohn Stiles has finalized the purchase of a historic 30,000-square-foot building at the southwest corner of 18th Street and Chester Avenue. The firm will move in 2015, opening yet another chapter for Kern County’s oldest personal injury law firm, while continuing to serve clients in downtown Bakersfield.

For more on Morris Chain, the firm’s history and anniversary, and other firm news, go to Chainlaw.com.

—–

The Kern County law firm throughout 2014 has commemorated its 80-year anniversary in various ways, including partnering with the City of Bakersfield in a freeway litter cleanup project.

In the same issue of Bakersfield Life, the magazine featured an advertisement by Chain | Cohn | Stiles that highlighted the testimonial of a real-life client. It read:

“If you’re not sure what to do, come in and talk to them. That’s what we did. I was scared to death after the accident. I’ve never gone through any of this, and I didn’t want to go through by myself. It would have been easy to get taken advantage of by our insurance company. But the law firm took care of us, and took care of everything. Thank God for them. They have high integrity.”

Click here to view the testimonial and advertisement.

Chain | Cohn | Stiles has served its community for 80 years, and looks forward to continuing to serve for many more. If you are injured due to the fault of another, or are seeking workers’ compensation assistance, contact the law firm at 661-323-4000 or visit the website Chainlaw.com.

———

*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 partners with Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce

November 18, 2014 | 9:08 am


In 1945, the Bakersfield personal injury law firm Chain | Cohn | Stiles first became a member of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce.

After a short two-year break from membership, Chain | Cohn | Stiles is proud to be a partner once again with one of the top chambers of commerce in the nation after joining this year.

“Like the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce, our law firm has been connected closely with the Bakersfield community since we were founded by Morris Chain in 1934,” said David K. Cohn, managing partner of CCS. “We’re proud to partner once again with longtime local group that, like us, is dedicated to making Bakersfield a better place.”

The 1,300-member Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce is ranked in the top 10 of California chambers and in the top 100 chambers nationwide, according to the chamber. The nonprofit chamber works together with businesses to build a strong local economy, provides business-education opportunities, promotes community and business interests with government, and provides dynamic programs.

“The Chamber’s strength lies in its membership,” the chamber states on its website. “Members have varied interests and concerns, and underlying all is the common desire to improve the local business environment and enhance the socio-economic and cultural well-being of our community.”

The renewed partnership comes at a time when the Chain | Cohn | Stiles is celebrating its 80-year anniversary. Eight years ago, Morris Chain set up his law practice in the Haberfelde Building in the heart of downtown Bakersfield. Since then, the law firm has provided legal assistance in the areas of personal injuries, car accidents, wrongful death and workers’ compensation*, among many other practices.

The CCS-GBCC partnership also comes at a time when the law firm is planning a move in 2015 to another building in the heart of historic downtown Bakersfield. Soon, Chain | Cohn | Stiles will occupy a 30,000-square foot building on the southwest corner of 18th Street and Chester Avenue, a site that has been occupied by local businesses since the late 1800s.

To view our listing on the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce’s directory, click here. For questions on the law firm and injury-related cases, call 661-323-4000 or visit the website Chainlaw.com.

———–

*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.

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.

—–

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.