As with anything else, overuse of technology has its downsides, and nowhere is that more evident than with the recent Metrolink commuter train wreck that left 25 dead and 135 injured 10 days ago in Chatsworth, Calif. Undisciplined use of technology may have contributed to the accident, with reports emerging that the train engineer may have been texting while operating the train. And now, lawyers are saturating the Web and YouTube with ads seeking victims and their families to represent, reports Kevin O'Keefe at LexBlog.
O'Keefe writes that his RSS feed has pulled up multiple Web sites and a YouTube video aimed at potential clients, not to mention 22 sponsored Google ad links. Even though O'Keefe is a former plaintiffs lawyer himself, he's worried about the negative impression that these lawyers are making.
Eric Turkewitz of New York Personal Injury Law Blog agrees, writing that "those lawyers that leap after cases in such a fashion do a great disservice to the profession. The few who do this make the rest look bad." Turkewitz also questions whether the lawyers running these ads are actually the best for the job, or merely the best at getting their name out.
Just like we shouldn't ban railroad employees from ever texting (for example, if they're on break), we shouldn't ban or unduly restrict lawyers from advertising online either. Instead, we can use technology as O'Keefe and Turkewitz are doing: to inform consumers of the dangers of hiring a lawyer based on online ads alone, and to remind them that not all lawyers are as crass as the train-chasers.
Posted by Carolyn Elefant on September 23, 2008 at 01:29 PM | Permalink
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