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Do we have too many lawyers?

September 19, 2008

Or is it too many legal marketing folks willing to help them?

I saw something come through my RSS reader referencing a YouTube video of an attorney discussing the LA train accident and how their firm will represent the injured on a contingency and front all the costs. An accident claiming the lives of 25 people and injuring, many critically, 135 more.

Piqued my interest as to what a Google search for Los Angeles Train Accident Attorney would give me. Maybe it should be no surprise.

lawyer advertising la train accident

And that does not include the sponsored links running down the side of the page (22 of them that required 2 extra pages by Google just for them). Sponsored links being bought by lawyers or marketing companies not as smart as those gaming Google to get their site to appear at the top of the organic search results.

Some of the attorneys trying to get these cases may not be located anywhere near Los Angeles. They may not be the best lawyers to represent the seriously injured, the killed, and their family members. But gosh, if I can climb over the other lawyers and get to the front of the Google line, then I ought to do it. It’s America ain’t it.

I was a plaintiff’s trial lawyer for 17 years. I was a board member of my state’s trial lawyers association and a sustaining member of what was then known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. I represented injury victims and their families and championed the cause of the little guy.

I want the train owner and operator to be held accountable. I want the victims and their family members to be compensated to the full extent of the law. If the defendants won’t settle, I want a jury to hold them accountable.

But I’m scared with how far plaintiffs trial lawyers like this are pushing things.

It’s behavior by plaintiff’s trial lawyers chasing clients like this that results in laws taking away the rights of the people these advertising lawyers say they are trying to help. Laws passed in the name of tort reform. It’s conduct like this that gives lawyers a bad name.

Maybe these lawyers do not care about more tort reform. Maybe these lawyers don’t care how they look to the average Joe on the street. Maybe in the chase for the money, they’ve become blind to how they appear. I don’t know.

Even worse is the fact that some victims and their family members are going to hire one of the lawyers winning the Google game, notwithstanding that the lawyer is not capable of obtaining fair and adequate compensation. Lay people don’t always know what they’re getting into.

I know the good law firms who regularly represent train accident victims and the better plaintiffs’ trial lawyers in Los Angeles need to connect with the victims some how to protect the victims. But there ought to be a better way.

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