The Los Angeles Metrolink train accident that killed 25 people and injured over 100 others seems to have brought out the worst in a few attorneys, with ads and website popping up to advertise for victims. As reported by Kevin O’Keefe, even YouTube ads have been popping up.
It was exactly this type of disaster in New York that led to new ethics rules. In 2003, the Staten Island Ferry crashed, killing 10 people. And while victims were still being pulled from the wreckage, some lawyers had already contacted the Staten Island Advance in order to place ads for the next day’s papers. Thus was born New York’s new attorney advertising rules (some of which are being constitutionally challenged).
Regardless of whether any one particular rule is constitutional or not, one thing is clear: That those lawyers that leap after cases in such a fashion do a great disservice to the profession. The few who do this make the rest look bad.
Those seeking counsel for such an incident — indeed for any kind of incident — should avoid such people at all costs. They have merely shown that they have advertising moxie to get noticed, and bad taste in what they have done.