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Dear Washington Bar Association: Please, Dear Gods, Never Lift Your Ban On Advertising - Elf M. Sternberg
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elfs
Dear Washington Bar Association: Please, Dear Gods, Never Lift Your Ban On Advertising
Every state has billboards by the side of the road advertising something. But you have to wonder about Florida: two-thirds of all standalone outdoor advertising in this state is dedicated to law firms.

In Washington, there's no one overriding theme to outdoor advertising. There's a lot of insurance advertising, and a lot of fast food advertising, and a lot of digital service-oriented advertising (cable TV, internet, other service providers). But there's plenty of space for smaller services-- plumbers, coffee, medical services, non-franchise restaurants. It's very diverse.

In Florida, there's none of that. Two-thirds of all outdoor advertising is law firms, most of which cover "Personal Injury." It's kinda scary: do people get hurt more often in Florida? Apparently, different states' Bar Associations have different rules, and in Florida the rule is "anything goes." And many law firms (and there are many, many, many law firms visible along most major causeways, too-- one owned a two-story spanish manse occupying a whole city block in Fort Lauderdale!) have the cash to squeeze everyone else out of the advertising market. At one major intersection in Tampa, there were four full-sized billboards looming out over the thoroughfares, and all four were for lawfirms-- two for the same woman in a cream pantsuit, one for three old guys in old-school power suits, and one for two glowering bullet-headed thugs promising "Aggressive Representation!" All were personal injury, although the old guys promised they could do "maritial issues" as well.

It gives the impression that everyone in Florida is suing everyone else. That's the only explanation for the bizarre phenomenon. After the thousandth billboard or so, you start to wonder why it's so blatant and excessive.

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Comments
ben_raccoon From: ben_raccoon Date: August 12th, 2011 04:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
God, yes. California's pretty bad, too. In fact, lately, probably a third of the billboards I pass to and from work are actually for divorce lawyers, of all things. O.o
dv_girl From: dv_girl Date: August 12th, 2011 04:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
And that, in a nutshell is what is really wrong with the american healthcare system. There are tons and tons of frivolous lawsuits by parasitic lawyers that result in doctors and hospitals having to carry ridiculously high insurance. It also ends up limiting the supply of doctors, further driving up the cost of Healthcare. :/
nbarnes From: nbarnes Date: August 13th, 2011 06:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you use Google for a little bit, you can find lots of research into the connection between medical malpractice lawsuits, the price of malpractice insurance, and the rising cost of health care in the US.

The short version of all of the research done is; there is very little relationship between any two of those factors. The cost of malpractice suits are not what is driving the (high) increase in the price of malpractice insurance. And the cost of malpractice insurance is not what is driving the (incredibly high) rate of increase in medical costs in the US.
_candide_ From: _candide_ Date: August 16th, 2011 02:23 am (UTC) (Link)
The problem is, we have no way of caring for the debilitated here in the US. What safety-net does exist is laughable. So the only way to afford to care for oneself after a failed surgery is to play LawsuitLotto.

What we need is a combination of 4 things.
First, medical review boards that check if a doctor is doing worse than the expected outcome on his procedures. If so, his license is revoked, possibly permanently.
Second, malpractice insurance is banned.
Third, in the event that a patient draws the short-straw — they're one of the Unlucky n-Percent that has complications from a procedure — all of their future medical expenses are covered, Completely, No-Questions-Asked. And covered on the taxpayer's dime. And if it turns out that the patient didn't draw the short straw, but a victim of incompetence, then the local/state/federal gov't can recoup the resulting financial loss for caring for the victim by garnishing 5% of the wages of everyone found responsible, including any administrators.
Lastly, once #1-#3 are in place, you can legislate a cap on medical lawsuits.
pixel39 From: pixel39 Date: August 12th, 2011 08:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Florida is just fucked up.
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