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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Updated (3X): ISO Defendant

Time reports that a new website - WhoCanISue.com - will debut next month:

The new website plans to help consumers determine whether they actually have a case and help them find an attorney from a list of lawyers who advertise their expertise on the website. The attorneys will pay an annual fee of $1,000 to appear on the site, plus an additional amount of their own choosing that will determine how prominently they appear in the listings on the site. 

Update (by BC): TortDeform has a post, itself linking to an InjuryBoard post, which itself links to a no-longer-existing post (whew) that supposedly linked WhoCanISue to defense firm Jorden Burt.  I'm not sure how they came up with the link, but the suggestion is that it's a scam to make plaintiffs' attorneys look bad.

Let's do some digging, shall we?

WhoCanISue.com is registered to mRevolution at 110 E. Atlantic St. in Delray Beach.  Looking at Google Maps and its StreetView, that address looks rather unlikely to be part of a big firm, but does look like the sort of place that might house a "sales leads" generating entity, which is what mRevolution is.  And, sure enough, right on the front page, mRevolution notes WhoCanISue as one of its properties (click on it to see):

Mrevolution mRevolution is run by one Curtis Wolfe, who is indeed an attorney, but one without any visible connection to Jorden Burt, though he was evidently with Steel Hector prior to that firm's merger with Squire Sanders.  The only connection I can see to Jorden Burt is that a partner from there is quoted in the Time piece saying that it is a bad idea.

Short version: Nope, I don't think this is an elaborate scam to make trial lawyers look bad.  I do think it's a bad idea, for the reasons Eric described in connection with SueEasy.com.

Update #2: First, be sure to read the comments for a bit more on some other rabbit trails, all of which end with the same entities and people (none of them defense lawyers or insurers).  Second, evidently TV ads will start soon, judging from these screenshots, they'll be, um, interesting.  PDF of the page here, in case it gets taken down: Download twoparrot.pdf

Update #3:  We received an e-mail from a Miami PR firm doing work for WhoCanISue in connection with its launch.  The author of the e-mail, Michael Tangeman, says fairly convincingly that the website is what it purports to be, and attached a couple of PDFs relating to the site and Wolf (Download wcis_backgrounder.pdf, Download curtis_wolfe_bio.pdf).  He also linked to a couple of articles (Miami Herald, Advertising Age).

Incidentally, I'd forgotten that, last fall, a different person on InjuryBoard had thought SueEasy.com was a hoax, too; I disagreed and I think it's clear that it was (and is) not a hoax.  Same reasons there as here -- it would be a stupid hoax and the evidence all points to legitimacy.

Finally, the author of the original (inaccessible) post has now posted it at Tort Deform in the comments, and it doesn't do anything like suggest that Jorden Burt is involved, as claimed by Jeremy Thurman in his post.  Hinson, instead, noted that Jorden Burt was quoted and, unsurprisingly, complained about frivolous lawsuits.  He's also not fond of WhoCanISue, and that's his main point.

Whew.  That was a lot of hoopla that could have been avoided with a modicum of careful reading in the first place.

- SBS (everything after "Update" by BC)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/tortsprof/2008/08/iso-defendant.html

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Comments

Interesting. When I go to Godaddy, I get an entirely different registrant:

Registrant:
WCIS Media, LLC

14000 Military Trail, Suite 200
Delray Beach, Florida 33484
United States

Registered through: GoDaddy.com, Inc. (http://www.godaddy.com)
Domain Name: WHOCANISUE.COM
Created on: 05-Apr-06
Expires on: 05-Apr-11
Last Updated on: 01-Jul-08

Doing the same Google street view looks like a residential area. Is someone trying to play hide the ball?

Posted by: Justinian Lane | Aug 7, 2008 8:39:04 AM

That address is an office building:

http://property.loopnet.com/xNet/MainSite/Listing/Profile/ProfileSE.aspx?LID=14569938&linkcode=10850&sourcecode=1lww2t006a00001

WCIS is something law-related; they appeared at an ABA conference:

http://www.eshow2000.com/abaexpo/pdf/2008_aba_exhibitors_list.pdf

I think it's just a matter of two different WHOIS apps using slightly different data. WCIS is, I'd guess, a tech entity of some sort.

Posted by: Bill Childs | Aug 7, 2008 8:55:58 AM

The Street View starts you off a little too north. Go two or three clicks-of-the-arrow south and you'll see the building. Sign tenants are HSO Group, SE Medical Imaging, some doctors, and a title company.

Posted by: Bill Childs | Aug 7, 2008 9:01:46 AM

And, finally, WCIS Media is another mRevolution entity.

http://www.sunbiz.org/scripts/cordet.exe?action=DETFIL&inq_doc_number=L07000082621&inq_came_from=NAMFWD&cor_web_names_seq_number=0000&names_name_ind=N&names_cor_number=&names_name_seq=&names_name_ind=&names_comp_name=WCIS&names_filing_type=

In case that doesn't work, if you search at sunbiz.org for WCIS, WCIS Media, LLC, has this:

Florida Limited Liability Company
WCIS MEDIA, LLC
Filing Information
Document Number L07000082621
FEI Number 392061457
Date Filed 08/13/2007
State FL
Status ACTIVE
Principal Address
20283 STATE ROAD 7
SUITE 300
BOCA RATON FL 33498
Changed 04/25/2008
Mailing Address
3042 ORANGE STREET
MIAMI FL 33133
Changed 05/07/2008
Registered Agent Name & Address
MREVOLUTION, LLC
20283 STATE ROAD 7
SUITE 300
BOCA RATON FL 33498 US
Manager/Member Detail
Name & Address
Title MGR
MREVOLUTION, LLC
20283 STATE ROAD 7, SUITE 300
BOCA RATON FL 33498
Title MGR
WOLFE, CURTIS
3042 ORANGE STREET
MIAMI FL 33133
Annual Reports
Report Year Filed Date
2008 04/25/2008
2008 05/07/2008


And mRevolution is indeed registered to Wolfe.

http://www.sunbiz.org/scripts/cordet.exe?action=DETFIL&inq_doc_number=L06000030411&inq_came_from=NAMFWD&cor_web_names_seq_number=0000&names_name_ind=N&names_cor_number=&names_name_seq=&names_name_ind=&names_comp_name=MREVOLUTION&names_filing_type=

Florida Limited Liability Company
MREVOLUTION, LLC
Filing Information
Document Number L06000030411
FEI Number 760822764
Date Filed 03/23/2006
State FL
Status ACTIVE
Effective Date 03/22/2006
Last Event MERGER
Event Date Filed 05/09/2006
Event Effective Date NONE
Principal Address
20283 ST. RD. 7
SUITE 300
BOCA RATON FL 33498
Changed 07/20/2007
Mailing Address
20283 ST. RD. 7
SUITE 300
BOCA RATON FL 33498
Changed 07/20/2007
Registered Agent Name & Address
WOLFE, CURTIS
550 WEST CYPRESS CREEK RD.
SUITE 120
FT. LAUDERDALE FL 33309 US
Manager/Member Detail
Name & Address
Title MGRM
LOBOS BUSINESS CONSULTING, LLC
3042 ORANGE STREET
MIAMI FL 33133
Annual Reports
Report Year Filed Date
2007 01/10/2007
2008 04/29/2008

Posted by: Bill Childs | Aug 7, 2008 9:06:41 AM

Thanks for doing all that research!

In response to your suggestion that WCIS Media is a tech company, I bet WCIS stands for Who Can I Sue. Hopefully we'll find out how/why the poster linked Who Can I Sue to Jorden Burt.

Posted by: Justinian Lane | Aug 7, 2008 9:13:37 AM

That makes sense.

Here's some pure speculation; count it as that: the "link" was noting that a lawyer from Jorden Burt was quoted in the story and failing to note that the quote was opposing the site. Once he realized that, he took down the original post (which, alas, didn't get cached by Google, so far as I can tell).

Posted by: Bill Childs | Aug 7, 2008 9:18:40 AM

Thanks for your post!

As further info toward you and your readers’ understanding of WhoCanISue.com, I thought it might be helpful to provide links to a

backgrounder on the company and how the service works, as well as the bio of founder & CEO Curtis Wolfe.

WhoCanISue.com Backgrounder:
http://tinyurl.com/5r7ym8

Curtis Wolfe bio:
http://tinyurl.com/63xx9k

The full press release issued yesterday can be read online in its entirety on PRNewswire at: http://tinyurl.com/6rkvb7.

(TinyURLs provided only so as not to clog your comments with long URLs.)

Posted by: Michael Tangeman | Aug 8, 2008 9:46:09 AM

Regarding the Mrevolution comments and the links to Curtis Wolfe and the Who can I sue company.....be sure to look into the people involved in Mrevolution, some are convicted felons and they have a long track record of bogus lead generation tactics and spamming.

Posted by: The Comp | Oct 3, 2008 2:42:45 PM

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