Thursday, May 28, 2015

Data Mining and Facebook: Lucrative Business for Tort Lawyers

The Dispatch recently ran an article on how tort attorneys strategically use Facebook, combined with other research resources, to identify potential litigants.

"For example, [digital bounty hunter Tim] Burd was hired for a lawsuit claiming a medical device used in hysterectomies, known as a laparoscopic power morcellator, causes ovarian cancer to spread in patients. The CDC says women over 55 are most likely to contract that kind of cancer. Burd says CDC data are especially powerful in combination "with Facebook, which is why we love it so much, because there's ovarian cancer support groups and stuff like that. So we target women in the country over the age of 55 that 'like' an ovarian cancer support group. That's a pretty targeted demographic.""

The story reports that attorneys will pay researchers like Mr. Burd up to $3,000 per name . . . but why rely on others to do this work for you? With the right research skills you could set up your own system that would likely not cost you $3,000 per hour or even per ten hours. Consider signing up for an Advanced Legal Research class to learn how to save yourself a few bucks and track down potential clients.