Slipped on a pile of goo and wondering if you have a case? If you have the Internet, starting next month you can log on to WhoCanISue and see for yourself. Started by a Florida lawyer, the website will help prospective litigants figure out whether they have a case as well as find a lawyer in one fell click. (Legal disclaimer: the lawyers will pay an annual fee of $1,000 to appear on the site.)
Though there are similar services out there, this one is the first that offers real-time access to attorneys. After a brief questionnaire, those with promising grievance will instantly be put in touch with an interested attorney. Easier access to the legal system seems like an improvement, but there might be a downside. To see what it is, read more.
One Miami attorney said services like this can create a court backlog:
As if there aren't enough lawyers out there inventing lawsuits, now we're going to invite the public to do so. It encourages, if not creates lawsuits. Our country's courts are clogged with unnecessary and frivolous lawsuits which delay, if not obstruct, the access to courts of people that really need to get there, that have serious legal grievances.
The website's creator disagrees. "With our system they can either find a lawyer or find out by talking to our lawyers that they don't really have an interest in that case. I don't think WhoCanISue.com is going to, by itself, increase the number of lawsuits there are, but it may make people more aware of what their rights are."
How do you judge this kind of service? Is easier access good, or does it just encourage sue-happy crackpots?