Advertising By Personal Injury Lawyers Skyrockets

AmbulanceChasersWe’ve all seen them more times than we can count…television advertisements by personal injury lawyers. Lately, I’ve been wondering if it’s just my imagination, or if there are more of those ads on TV than usual. Well, a new study has just confirmed; it’s not my imagination.

According to a new report published by the US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, the amount of money being spent on television ads by lawyers is growing faster than the amount of money spent on TV ads by any other industry in America.

The report, Trial Lawyer Marketing: Broadcast, Search and Social Strategies, estimates that in 2015 alone, TV ads by lawyers will total $892 million. In fact, their television ad spending grew six times faster than all other television ad spending during this period. The total for this year is 68% more than they spent in 2008.

Lisa Rickard, president of ILR, says:

“The plaintiffs’ bar orchestrates some of the most sophisticated and relentless marketing campaigns in our society.”

But it’s not just TV ads on which personal injury lawyers are spending their money. They’re also aggressively seeking clients on the Internet, social media and mobile devices. The report found that twenty-three of the top twenty-five Google key words linking ads to user searches are for personal injury law firms.

This spending reflects a major change in philosophy for lawyers. There was a time when they felt that the idea of buying advertising to promote their services was unseemly.

Those days are obviously long gone. Considering how often the American public is exposed to messages promoting litigation as the only option for resolving disputes, law schools and bar associations would do well to remember what Abraham Lincoln advised his fellow lawyers many years ago:

“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser – in fees, expenses and waste of time.”

That may be a novel idea, but Lincoln’s advice is just as good today as it was when he was practicing law.

New Report Reveals Massive Influence Of Trial Lawyers In Washington D.C. Just As Their Lobbyists Warn President Obama Not To Support Tort Reform

An important new report recently released by the Manhattan Institute shines a bright spotlight on the tidal wave of campaign contributions flowing from personal injury lawyers to members of Congress. Get your free copy of the report here.

According to the Manhattan Institute, the amount of money being poured into the leadership of the U.S. Senate by personal injury lawyers now dwarfs contributions by all other industries. As evidence, the Manhattan Institute reveals that four of the top seven political donors to Majority Leader Harry Reid are plaintiff law firms.

It wouldn’t take a cynic to come to the conclusion that this financial relationship does not bode well for those who support efforts in Congress aimed at eliminating lawsuit abuse. But now, the story is getting even more interesting, and the stakes are as high as ever.

Yesterday, a headline in The Hill, a daily newspaper that covers Congress, declared: Trial Lawyers to Obama: Don’t deal on tort reform in healthcare negotiations. See full article here. Although the President has suggested in the past that there might be some kind of reform he’d support to eliminate meritless lawsuits against doctors, reformers have been waiting for him to support anything they consider meaningful.

The Manhattan Institute study and yesterday’s article in The Hill focus on trial lawyer influence in the nation’s capitol, but the decisions being made in Washington D.C. also have a huge impact on what is likely to happen in the states when it comes to medical liability reform.

When the Senate finally mustered enough votes to approve a heath care reform bill last December, the “tort reform” section in the bill that created demonstration projects in the states was considered a “gift” to trial lawyers. It didn’t do anything to encourage states to enact proposals to eliminate lawsuit abuse. Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow, Walter Olson, said all it did was “provide cover to lawmakers who feel they need to tell voters they did something on the tort reform front while guaranteeing that it won’t amount to anything that would bother the trial bar.”

Will President Obama’s recent statements finally move reform efforts forward? If so, he’ll need to convince Congress to encourage the states to approve reforms that actually bother the trial bar.