A New York law firm has been running a series of really pretty funny ads about people who want to file lawsuits without having a real, legitimate case. There are two ads which you can find on You Tube (linked below):
- “Machete,” about a woman who suffered a really terrible paper cut; and
- “Power,” about a man who wants to sue the power company after the power went off in his apartment while he was having the best video game of his life and setting his all-time high score.
The basic problem with most lawyer advertising is that it promotes the idea that every slight in life can be the basis for a lawsuit which will bring in tons of money — if you only hire our law firm. The fact of the matter is that nothing is farther from the truth.Cases where there is a wrongful death or catastrophic injury do generate verdicts and settlements of thousands, even millions, of dollars — but the people who receive those kinds of settlements are often dealing with a lifetime of grief and pain, along with huge amounts of medical expenses and/or economic losses. I tell every client, “You really don’t want to have a million dollar case.” Unfortunately, some of them do.When we are representing people who do have the kinds of cases which result in settlements or verdicts in the hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, they are cases that are aggressively defended by skilled defense lawyers who are going to probe every aspect of the case before they recommend to the insurance company that they write a six- or seven-figure check.It isn’t quick money, or easy money — not by any stretch of the imagination.The reason I like these two ads is that they really deflate the whole idea that the civil justice system is there to right every abstract wrong by paying out huge money for trivial matters. Most lawyer advertising promotes that idea in a really tasteless way.I like these ads because they serve as a reminder what the civil justice system should do — to help and protect the victims of real misconduct with real injuries. And for people who have suffered real injuries due to real misconduct, we are ready to help you.On the other hand, if you have a paper cut or if you are angry because the power went out just before you set your all-time high score on a video game, there are some lawyers advertising on TV who want to talk to you.