Oftentimes on personal injury and criminal defense websites, you’ll see a page that’s dedicated to all of the great results that the law firm has achieved for its past clients.
On a personal injury website, you may see something like this: “Brain Injury – 6 Million Dollar Verdict” and “Millions Recovered for Our Clients.” The Model Rules don’t have a problem with case results as such, but they note that case results can be misleading if they cause a person to form an unjustified expectation that the same results could be obtained for them.
For example, let’s say that someone searching for a lawyer for a brain injury case comes to a personal injury website. They go to the case results page and see that the firm got $6 million for a past brain injury plaintiff. Might that cause a visitor to that website to form an unjustified expectation that they would get 6 million dollars for their relatives’ brain injury if they hired that firm? What can we do about that, short of removing the case results from our websites altogether? We must include a disclaimer.
Some States are restrictive in the use of case results and some States prohibit the use of case results altogether and we get into that later in this blog.
As with the disclaimer about legal information vs. legal advice, we want to make sure that the case results disclaimer, as much as possible, is colloquial, to manage the expectations of unsophisticated visitors. So if it reads like a boilerplate EULA with statements about “warranties of fitness,” that’s not a good thing.
For case results, it may be simply a matter of stating “Prior case results do not guarantee a similar outcome.” Your State may have very specific language that you need to use and you should research it to be sure. It is recommended, and sometimes required, that the disclaimer be placed at the bottom of your case results page, as well as in the disclaimer page linking from the footer of your website.