Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lawyers: Is Your Web Site Lacking?

Lacking a way to reach you that is ... .

Yesterday I was seeking out attorneys in a western city and state to discuss a possible referral. At 8 p.m. from one of my websites I received an email from a person with a potential case. We spoke the same night. Immediately I went looking for an attorney, only to have little success. It took me nearly a half hour to find one attorney.

Where did this happen? A city that is the state capitol of said state. When I found a site for a firm/attorney with potential, I looked for a way to contact or email the attorney right away. Nothing. No email listed, no "Contact Us" box. Just a phone number which of course went to a recorded voice mail. By the time the office opens, it will be 11 a.m. Eastern here in my city, and the chance to possibly work on a significant case is gone forever.

Ok, no problem I thought. Next attorney site, same problem. Next attorney site, nothing. Finally, at lawyer website number four, an email listing. I emailed that attorney and have a reply this morning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. The attorney in that city is already up and working before the sun has risen in his town. He has my attention.

For the others who missed the chance, how can this be?

One thing I've always remembered is a saying from a fellow lawyer many years ago: People just don't need a lawyer during business hours. The same is true on the web. To think that any firm or attorney would not even list a way to be reached other than by telephone when putting up a website just made me wonder ... how many potential clients are being missed? How many - like me - simply moved on to the next attorney?

Does your site miss such a vital piece? Check your site right now, today. Because if I need your assistance and the only way to reach you is by phone after hours, I'm moving on to your competitor.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

FDA Warns Hand Sanitizer Maker Re: Claims It Prevents Colds

Procter & Gamble Co makes a hand sanitizer called Vicks Early Defense Foaming Hand Sanitizer that the company has claimed could prevent colds among school children and fight germs for up to three hours.

The FDA reported that it had sent P and G a warning letter about the "unlawful" marketing claims. The FDA claimed that this amounted to an unapproved drug because it did not contain proper instructions for use and carried the unsupported claims that the product could effectively fight germs that cause colds.

The FDA letter states: "Under sections 301(d) and 505(a) of the Act (21 U.S.C. §§ 331(d) and 35 5(a)), a new drug may not be introduced or delivered for introduction into interstate commerce unless an FDA approved application is in effect for it. Vicks Early Defense Foaming Hand Sanitizer does not have an approved application, and its introduction and delivery for introduction into interstate commerce violates these provisions of the Act."

Also, "the product claims to be effective in fighting the "germs" that cause colds. We are not aware of sufficient evidence to show that that the product is generally recognized as safe and effective in preventing individuals from becoming infected with colds, a condition caused by viruses."

Alas, the FDA gives P and G 15 working days to take steps to take action, or more as needed. How long will it take? Stay tuned ... .

Monday, September 17, 2007

Trucking Interrogatories

Over at the Trial Lawyer Blog, Brian Parker posted his version of trucking Interrogatories. Brian works in my office now, and he is a hard working young litigator with great skills.

Go here to get the discovery. Here is a sample:


  1. What is Defendant’s document retention policy?


  1. Was driver within course and scope of his employment at the time of the collision?

  2. If anyone on behalf of Defendant went to the collision scene please answer the following: Who on behalf of Defendant photographed or video graphed the scene, vehicles or both?Who on behalf of Defendant measured the collision scene?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Free Software Worth a Look

I am a fan of free software mostly because of the price. A recent blog post noted several that may be of some value in your practice. I am using:

1.Foxit Reader. A replacement for an Adobe reader. Faster and easier to use. Go here to find it.
The site says: "Are you tired of waiting for your PDF to load? Look no further, Foxit Software is the answer! Foxit Software specializes in core PDF technologies and provides a true and complete PDF solution. These affordable high quality solutions range from generic PDF desktop products to customized PDF applications and software development kits for various platforms."

2.Irfan View. In a nutshell, it is a simple graphic viewer. You get with it email, the ability to change color, and a thumbnail/preview option. Go here to find it.

3.Shorttext.com. While not freeware, it is a handy little webpage to use when you are on a public computer or another PC. The vanilla site informs:

ShortText.com is a simple tool to post text online, with minimum fuss. No sign ups, no sign in, just instant web presence for your information.

"Don't have a website? Don't want a blog? Want to share a piece of code...perhaps an article? Just paste your text below and click 'Create URL'! ShortText.com now supports direct linking to your images and video. "

I've used it as a reminder to myself and as a short note to a fellow lawyer.

Each is worth a go.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

NYC Debuts 9/11 Health Website

Today marks the debut of http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/wtc/html/home/home.shtml, which the City proclaims to be "a single source for information about the health effects of 9/11. It consolidates the latest information about scientific research and services, including where those affected can go for free treatment and medicine."

The website includes easily accessible research findings and treatment options for the different groups of affected people - rescue and recovery workers, residents, children, and city employees.

Several interesting facts gleaned from various websites:

The World Trade Center Health Registry monitors the long-term health of people who were exposed to the World Trade Center disaster. They now reside in all 50 states.

The Registry recently released findings about rescue and recovery workers, some of whom were suffering from asthma and post-traumatic disorder as a result of the disaster.

One in eight rescue and recovery workers had post-traumatic stress disorder when they were interviewed in 2003 and 2004. Rates were highest among volunteer workers and lowest among police officers.

As you go about your day, how will you remember 9/11?

FDA Panel: Trasylol Hearing 9/12

An advisory panel of the FDA takes another look at the safety of Trasylol on Wednesday, just after new data came just days after another FDA advisory panel met last year over the drug's safety.

That first advisory panel found that Trasylol, used to stem bleeding and the need for blood transfusions during surgery, was acceptable for some patients undergoing heart surgery.

According to Reuters, the FDA staffers wrote that the totality of three recent studies support the risk of renal failure and dysfunction, and noted a "mortality disadvantage detected" in one Bayer study. Link.

The FDA may conclude that indeed the drug increases the risk of kidney failure and death. In my view, however, patients may not even be aware they were injected with Trasylol during heart surgery. To be truly practical, the FDA should require any hospital patients who were given Trasylol to be informed by letter from the medical provider who may have had it injected.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Regulating the Drug Pushers

That title comes from an article on the Motley Fool website. It's nice to know what M.F.
has to say. In the article, there is this comment: "The FDA hasn't been completely negligent when it comes to advertisements."

From that article:

"The FDA plans to run a study to see whether positive images and statements are causing viewers to ignore the warnings about potential side effects. It needs to run a study to figure this out? Of course happy families frolicking in the park are helping viewers to ignore the fast-talking guy at the end of the advertisement."

Also ...

"The announcement follows a New England Journal of Medicine study published last week, suggesting that FDA regulation of the advertisements is on the decline ... it seems more likely that the FDA is understaffed for the increasing number of direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertisements. Spending on DTC ads increased 330% from 1996 to 2005."

Go here for more.

G.T.L.A. Blog Debuts

The Georgia Trial Lawyers Association has a Blog that is worth a look. Go here to check it out.