July 13, 2006
Zero Cost of Entry Litigation?
A story from the LAT discusses the early stages of what might be the Next Big Thing in mass torts - Fosamax. The Merck drug, indicated for osteoporosis, evidently can cause jaw deterioration. The article suggests that physicians generally consider the drug's benefits to outweigh the risks, but there's an enthusiastic effort to test the waters for plaintiffs.
Among other things, the report notes internet advertising, and, sure enough, look at all those AdSense ads. Just across the top, you've got:
...and there's a full bunch of ads down the side too, most of them for lawyers.
Has Google and other web-based advertising changed how people get into cases? There's minimal downside in buying some good search terms and seeing if an inventory comes together. If you don't end up liking the litigation, you can refer it out (presumably someone will take most any case). And, if so, does it make a good or bad difference? Are the inventory cases getting bigger with a higher percentage of them non-injury plaintiffs?
(Inventory settlements with a small number of injury plaintiffs and a much large number of non-injury plaintiffs, by the way, are the one thing that I meant to get to in my Point of Law posts that I never did. Possibly just as well, since I don't have a good idea of how to fix it.)
[Edit: I should have mentioned that I do a small amount of work for Merck, which makes Fosamax, none of it (to date) related to Fosamax.]
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Not sure if it has changed how people get into lawsuits, but it has revolutionized the way smaller firms can market their services. In fact, of the three marketing seminars I have attended for lawyers in the past 12 months, each one of them has said the same thing about the priority for marketing a firm. The top spot remains lawyer to lawyer referrals. Second is the internet, with a lot of focus being given to google ads. Way down the list is the phone book. At two of the seminars, the suggestion was to forego the phonebook altogether because it is not a cost effective way to market. Google ads, on the other hand, allow the attorney to have greater control over his advertising budget.
Posted by: Bill | Jul 13, 2006 11:56:08 AM