Kevin M. Cortright

Kevin M. Cortright
Riverside Office

Kevin Cortright doesn't often make snap decisions, but when he does they usually turn out to be right. Such was the case when one day while out in the field for his job as Operations Manager at Federal Express he happened to visit the University of La Verne Law School in Ontario, California, and by chance picked up a brochure for their law school.

"I was overseeing a driver making a delivery and I had always thought of going to law school. I picked up a brochure, brought it home and made a case for going back to school to my wife."

It was a tough case to sell. He had a good job with FedEx and a solid career path ahead, why change?

"Sometimes you just know," says Kevin. "My wife, my boss, everyone thought I was crazy to try and start a whole new career at this stage of life, but I just knew it was a path I wanted to take."

He got his feet wet early taking a job as clerk with a Personal Injury defense firm and learning the ropes of working within a busy law firm. Following graduation, he was offered several positions but chose to hang out his own shingle and test the legal waters of personal injury, family law and bankruptcy law.

"I was working a variety of cases, and getting to know all the various aspects of these different areas of law. It was just after the big economic crash in 2009, so bankruptcy was big for us as well as family law. I enjoyed both, but the emotional fallouts from adjudicating family disputes could sometimes be difficult.

"The difference between winning a family law case and winning a bankruptcy case was huge. Not everyone is happy at the end of a family law case, but when I finished a bankruptcy case for my clients, they hugged me!"

Eventually Cortright built his firm into a leading personal injury, workers' comp and bankruptcy practice with three attorneys and six administrative assistants. As the firm grew, he noticed the number of workers' comp applicant cases piling up so he began allocating them to associate attorneys in a mutually beneficial arrangement. In turn, that opened up more interaction with the defense side of workers' comp and the attorneys and law firms specializing in that unique sector of the law.

"I had met Ed Benthale in the courtroom, and we became colleagues. He invited me to attend a Chargers game with him and we had a great time talking sports and business. I think there was an element of mutual respect there and we had a great time."

When Benthale, McKibbin and McKnight advertised for attorneys seeking employment in Workers' Comp defense, it caught Cortright's eye.

"I saw the ad and called Ed. We talked and before I knew it, I decided to join their effort as an independent contractor and help wherever I could fit in."

And he fit in well.

"I had seen Kevin in court and knew his value as a litigator," says Ed Benthale, founding partner. "It's a great pleasure to have him working on this side of the bench with us and we plan to keep him busy."

Cortright excels in litigation but says his main goal is to always try and settle a case as soon as possible.

"I believe that our purpose as attorneys is to settle differences and if we can work things out at the table before going to court, it saves everyone a lot of time and money. However, I will admit that one of the best feelings I have as an attorney is winning a jury trial!"

Cortright says that his approach to the law is through listening and constantly learning about all aspects of a case. As a tournament chess player in high school, he naturally thinks ahead.

"I love the game of chess. It is all about thinking ahead, planning and then replanning according to the opponent's moves. I like to stay ahead of the game in both chess and the law."

Away from the office Kevin enjoys spending time with his wife and three grown children who are just starting their own careers.

Kevin works out of the Riverside and Santa Ana Offices of Benthale, McKibbin and McKnight.