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Tort Reformers Blast Trial Lawyers' Websites

A national tort reform group is highlighting a recent study by a medical think tank that criticizes Internet sites created by trial attorneys, contending that they are a significant source of inaccurate medical information, and they are calling for increased regulation of the websites.

A newly issued report (PDF) by the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest says that consumers searching the Internet for health information often pull up Web pages dominated by inaccurate and incomplete sites operated by plaintiffs attorneys seeking new clients, the American Tort Reform Association points out in a press release.

“These tort lawyer websites are now putting the very health and lives of Americans at risk. So ATRA is calling on all state bar associations to promptly rein in lawyers’ aggressive and misleading client solicitations on the Internet,” says ATRA’s president, Sherman “Tiger” Joyce, in the release. “Minimally, bar associations should require that all lawyers clearly and conspicuously identify themselves on websites they sponsor. Congress has some responsibility here as well, and we’d urge appropriate committees to conduct oversight hearings when lawmakers return for the coming session.”

However, a national trial lawyers’ association responds, in its own press release, that the “so-called study on legal websites is laughable at best.” In fact, says the written statement issued by American Association for Justice President Kathleen Flynn Peterson, it is pharmaceutical industry spending on drug promotion that should concern consumers and legislators. (The AAJ was formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.)

Hat tip: The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.

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