Erin Brockovich discusses how she views review sites on the Web and on their reliability and validity for searching for an attorney.

“So you’re talking about like review websites like Yelp or Google. Or you know you go to amazon.com and you read the review of a product. Oh my gosh. What a new thing for everybody and boy is there somebody who could be mad about any little thing that could be misrepresentative. But they have an opportunity to go out there and say how they feel on a review site. Yelp, gosh there’s probably a lot of them right, if the doctors and lawyers are… this is part of our new revolution and that’s technology.

I don’t know how anybody can just listen to a review about a lawsuit because it’s… it’s quite complicated and there’s… there’s reasons why sometimes they can’t take a case. They don’t want to not do that. There…there could be a statute of limitation issues or something a client doesn’t understand and they’re not able to take it. And they’re feeling frustrated by it.

So, whenever we look at a review site we have to not just go, ‘Oh okay, because of that review I’m out. I’m not gonna do that.’ You have to do your own homework, by the way. But you also have to understand that everybody else’s feelings or frustration is, in fact, okay, valid. And there may be a moment where a firm, and it does happen, and it hardly happens way more often than not, that’s very frustrating to we the people

I mean, we don’t want to feel let down. The law is the law. It follows rules, regulations, we have statute issues. In many of these medical device cases and environmental cases you have to prove the science. And there’s laws that… and parameters they have. And if they can’t do that, better it be they tell you ‘We can’t’ and you might have someone in a review say, ‘Oh you didn’t take my case’, then to misguide them and say ‘Oh we can do it,’ and then you can’t. And you waste your time all down the road where you could have taken another avenue.

So I’m glad we’ve talked about the review sites. They’re important, but people who are reviewing them need to know there’s a whole host of circumstances why somebody may be feeling their frustration and that’s okay.

But this is something that I like about Weitz & Luxenberg. And I’ve been here with them before because I’m out there doing work, and we’re talking about a situation, and they’re not gonna take the case. And I immediately feel, ‘Why not?’ [guttural noise] I’m indignant, I’m upset, ‘You’re not gonna represent the people?’ But better that then misguide them and mislead them EVER.

Sometimes the truth is hard and it hurts and you’ll find a review: ‘They didn’t get back to me, they didn’t call me, they didn’t take my case.’ Okay, let’s have that honest conversation. But there’s reasons why. It’s not like they don’t want to. It’s not like, you know, they don’t want to bother.

It’s the law. They have to follow the law. And there’s of many reasons why. Sometimes a case or a plaintiff – something doesn’t come together – and it… it never feels good to tell them ‘No.’ But we need to understand in a review that’s their moment to say ‘I’m frustrated’ and put it out there. ‘And you didn’t get back to me and I’m mad at you and I wouldn’t go with them.’

And it’s important for those that are looking at Weitz & Luxenberg when they see something like that to understand the law side. Understand their side, but understand that they were truthful and telling them, ‘We can’t pursue this, we’re not going to be able to move forward.’

I think that is way more valuable and way more honorable than ever misguiding them, misleading them, taking them, a case, taking them down a rosy path. You have to be careful about that, by the way, with some law firms and then go BOOM – ‘We can’t help you.’

I’m really glad somebody brought that up about the [review]. It’s something that we’re all gonna have to look at in this new world where we’re open and transparent. And people are entitled to their feelings but, you are also entitled as you read reviews to take a step back and realize there could be many emotional circumstances – and not for the wrong reasons – but for the right reasons. For following within the judicial system, or a statute of limitation, and being honest with a potential client.

But people have expectations and ideas and disappointments and feelings and frustrations and it’ll come out in a review. I’ve had people send me emails and I write them back. And they write me back and they’re like, ‘Oh my god. I was just venting. I never thought you would respond.’ And I’m like, ‘Well here I am’ [laughs] so sometimes people are just venting.”

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