Written by: Shepard Law Firm Staff

It seems you can’t turn on the television in the afternoon or evening these days without seeing an ad like this one targeting the victims of mesothelioma:

Mesothelioma Ad

Ads like this also convey the idea that there are hundreds, even thousands of law firms across the country representing mesothelioma victims. Yet, both of those assumptions are false.

So why do we continue to see so many misleading commercials?
Even savvy television viewers may be surprised to learn how much time, money and actual scientific research goes into developing these seemingly unpolished commercials. The reasons are as unsettling as the ads themselves. Why? Because of referral fees. Most of those advertisers are law firms or advertising groups that are simply going to refer your case to a lawyer who actually practices mesothelioma litigation, in exchange for a percentage of the fee that the second lawyer earns on the case. Good for the advertising law firm’s bottom line, but not so much for the victims and their families. The truth is, mesothelioma cases are highly specialized and require attorneys with very specific legal experience and access to significant medical and scientific resources.

Two secrets that these commercials don’t want you to know.
Secret #1: I’m not a lawyer, I just play one on T.V.
Did you know that the lawyer or law firm that is doing the advertising may not actually practice the type of litigation that is being advertised? I see this all the time in the context of mesothelioma, because in reality there are a limited number of law firms around the country that actually represent people in mesothelioma litigation.

In the past twenty-plus years of representing mesothelioma victims, I have come to know every law firm in the country that does what we do. It is a very small group, partly due to the immense amount of information and expertise that is needed to successfully handle mesothelioma cases, and partly because there just aren’t that many new cases of mesothelioma diagnosed every year.

Secret #2: Just like with real estate it comes down to location, location, location.
Television and internet marketing are not limited in the geographic scope of the advertisement. The advertisers may be located anywhere, from Texas to California, Florida to New York. This begs the questions:

Do they know the rules of your state?
Do they know the court system in your state?
Do they know the job sites where you worked or the cities and towns in which you lived?
Of course they don’t. The advertiser will try to sound convincing when confronted with the question, “Are you going to be the one handling my case in court?” But in most instances, the advertising lawyer or group has never actually litigated a mesothelioma case, and wouldn’t know where to begin if they had to. They are going to have to find a lawyer in your state who can represent you, someone who knows the local area and the local court rules, someone who can locate documents and witnesses in your area to help build your case. But which local lawyer are they going to send the case to, is that lawyer right for you and will that lawyer do a good job? How much experience does that lawyer have with mesothelioma litigation? When you call a toll-free number from a television ad, you might be surprised to find out that the answers to these questions are not the right answers for you.

When I say that Shepard Law represents victims of mesothelioma, I mean that we actually file the lawsuit, do the discovery, take and defend depositions, make and defend motions, and appear in court. We are with you from day one through the end of the case. The vast majority of lawyers advertising as “mesothelioma lawyers” can’t say the same.

Calling the number on the television may seem simple and convenient, especially if you are already struggling with the very real emotional, financial and physical challenges that often accompany mesothelioma. But if you put in the time to find a lawyer in your area, you are more likely to end up with someone who is going to have a vested interest in you and your case, and will deliver the result you were looking for.

If you or a loved one has mesothelioma and would like to learn more about your rights please call us for free, confidential consultation at (617) 451-9191.