A Law Student's Attempt to Understand It All.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I have a little less than a week before my jobs start. I am doing what any newly minted 2L would do in this situation: sitting on my butt watching TV.

Among the plethora of vocational school commercials, ads for “male enhancement,” and pitches for new kitchen gadgets, I saw a personal injury attorney’s commercial. The attorney’s commercial featured dramatic music, stock photos of doctors and factories, and a dramatic voice. The voice said, “Have you or your loved one suffered from Mesothelioma?...” Many lawyers place such ads (Colorado features “The Strong Arm” and “The Bulldog”). What was unique about this ad was that its information on Mesothelioma was cited to Wikipedia.

How far have we sunk when Wikipedia serves as a source for a legal commercial? Do not get me wrong, I have used Wikipedia when I need quick information on a non-controversial topic. But I would never cite it for my livelihood. Even if the article was correct and well-written, I would still seek more reliable evidence.

Such legal commercials are often for class action lawsuits (the notice requirement for FRCivP. 23). If a lawyer already has a class representative and is putting a case together, surely he can afford the few extra dollars to get his medical expert to be his citation for his commercial.

1 comment:

  1. In business school, none of the professors would dream of letting any one cite wikipedia in their papers. It's good for general information, but can be generally unreliable.