I am off to the Mass Torts Conference in Las Vegas. At the conference we will hear about the 2nd Vioxx Trial in New Jersey (Humeston). Sort of an autopsy of the case. Also on tap are presentations by Geoffrey Feiger, Al Sharpton, Bob Woodward and others.
What do Shaprton and Woodward have to do with Mass Torts? I asked that same question. They are the luncheon speakers, and will probably at the very least be entertaining.
One topic is "Welcome your competition by joining forces with them." It will be presented by my friend and fellow Atlanta attorney Andy Childers. My firm and his are considered competitors in the State of Georgia. We have, however, met on a regular basis, refer potential clients to each other (in the event of conflict, case outside our expertise, etc.), and work jointly on cases. Is this new? Not really, as we have been working together for more than four years.
One segment of the conference addresses the Internet. From the materials, it does not look like blogs will be discussed at all. Shame on the speaker if that is the case. I find much useful information as to unsafe drugs now on blogs, and in fact spend most of my time searching blogs first for cutting edge news. Does a blog result in calls? It has to my office.
I may be a contrarian in that I do not believe that internet advertising (solely or as the bulk of advertising) as to unsafe drugs or medical devices makes financial sense when compared to other media. It works for traditional personal injury practice, however.
I have heard an attorney at a national firm boast of results of an internet campaign as to an unsafe drug. When I asked the ratio of spending to actual calls (then distilled to potential claims), I was astonished at the high cost of the campaign. It was nearly $5000 per potential case. That to me makes zero sense. I did not tell the attorney that, however.
The most significant value to the conference will be the sharing of ideas and strategies. Plaintiffs' attorneys have always teamed up for the better. Mass tort claims are no different.