Knowing what high esteem some of you guys hold personal injury attorneys in, I thought you might enjoy this article. This law firm has ads on TV all the time in most of upstate New York where the attorney says that he will "Hammer" the money out of the insurance companies, insurance company attorneys etc and he calls himself "The Hammer." Turns out he has never tried a case in his life apparently.
"Jury whacks TV ad lawyer
Jim "The Hammer" Shapiro hit with $1.5M malpractice, false-advertising judgment.
June 13, 2002
By Jim O'Hara
If you own a television, you've seen his ads.
He claims to have won "millions" in compensation for clients. He advises "Don't bring a knife to a gunfight" and claims "They start it, I'll finish it" in touting his legal talents.
He promises to collect "every last dime" a victim is entitled to recover as compensation for an injury.
Jim "The Hammer" Shapiro admits he has never once taken a case to trial, and a state Supreme Court jury in Rochester this week hit him with a $1.5 million judgment for legal malpractice and false advertising.
"We nailed 'The Hammer,'" Syracuse lawyer Robert Williams proclaimed Wednesday as he celebrated the court victory over a lawyer best known for his flamboyant television commercials.
Williams called those commercials "a cancer" that threatens the legal profession and the American justice system.
"These ads are a malignancy on our system of justice," Williams said. "Never before has anything in the history of this country done what his advertising has done."
Williams said the American Bar Association has been fighting lawyer advertising since 1977 without success. He said he believes all lawyer advertising should be eliminated to avoid the kind of case he encountered against the Rochester-based firm of Shapiro & Shapiro.
Williams said he believed the verdict was one of the first in New York state to hit a lawyer for false advertising under the General Business Law.
"We knew the advertising was a lie," Williams said, noting several of the television spots - starring Shapiro himself - were played for the jury during the trial that began early last week. "He never tried a case in his life. Not a one."
The lawsuit filed by Williams and Rochester lawyer Patrick Burke against Shapiro & Shapiro accused the firm of mishandling the case of Christopher Wagner, a motorist critically injured in a two-car crash in Livingston County in March 1995.
Wagner, now 41, of Mount Morris was driving when he hit a patch of ice, his car spun around and he was hit head-on by the vehicle that had been traveling behind him. Wagner suffered severe injuries to his head and chest. "