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S2 E18: Mass Torts Nuts and Bolts


Mass Torts
ICP Logo

S2 E18: Mass Torts Nuts and Bolts




Mass Torts

In this week’s conversation, Grace shares a recent presentation that Persist Communications put together, along with other Mass Tort experts for MTMP Connect webinar series. Grace shares in-depth insights on how Mass Torts are identified in the first place and the extensive process that has to take place before a Mass Tort gets reviewed by the “Blue Ribbon” panel of judges.

Are recalls necessary to determine the potential of a mass tort? Questions like this are the center for the conversation that explores why there is no one secret formula identifying a potential mass torts and why even when some feel very strongly about a case, others may not see the potential.

We review the five metrics that your digital marketing strategy has to be based on to be profitable:

  • Total Conversion Rate
  • Campaign-Level Conversions
  • Cost Per Conversion
  • Leads to Close Ratio
  • Cost Per Acquisition

Resources mentioned in this episode:

MTMP Fall Seminar 

MTMP Connect

Leaders in Mass Torts

Send us your questions at ask@incamerapodcast.com

Enjoy the show? Please don’t forget to subscribe, tell your coworkers, and leave us a review!


Liel: [00:00:00] Sir Arthur Conan Doyle said it is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts. I’m Liel Levy, co-founder of Nanato Media, and this is in Camera, a podcast where we only make data driven decisions.

Liel: [00:00:51] Welcome to in camera podcast private legal marketing conversations, Grace. Welcome back. How are you today?

Grace: [00:00:58] I’m good. Busy, busy, busy. Just like you are.

Liel: [00:01:01] Yes, but it seems like you’re being busier than I have. Grace, you were just telling me you were onboarding now a new client for persist, which is exciting. Right. And I was telling you a little bit also about a recent onboarding that we had. And so a lot of things are happening, Grace and I know talking about being busy and things happening, that you were part of a webinar yesterday along with Persist about the nuts and bolts of Mass Torts,. Right. And hopefully you are ready and willing to share with us the nuts and bolts of that presentation here. So those of us who could not participate in this webinar can still get all of the valuable insights that you’ve been sharing with the mass torts community through Mass Torts connect.

Grace: [00:01:50] It’s definitely, it was a lot of fun, honestly. And I know that’s kind of weird to say it was fun to hear about mass torts, but it kind of was I mean, you know, we’re kind of missing out, I’d say, on MTMP, you know, mass torts made perfect in Vegas. I think we’re all feeling a little left out. You know, with everything going on. And so this kind of was kind of nice. You know, we had all the people that you might normally have in the track. Full day tracks condensed until like 10 minutes apiece, which was pretty amazing. I have to say that it was very impressive to hear all these different things about how to get into mass torts and everything you need to know about how to get into mass torts. But like starting it. Right. And I think we forget especially I know I do sometimes that other people maybe don’t know about mass torts at all. You know, how to get into it. Right.

Liel: [00:02:43] It’s been a recurring conversation for us here. Right. We are trying to raise awareness. We’re trying to have a very entry-level conversation here and tried to touch multiple points. Right. So we’ve done conversations on the 10 Mass torts to know in 2020. Right. We’ve done some other introductions to mass torts. And I think kind of like this is a great way to further dig into understanding the whole concept of mass torts based on what you’ve shared with me, Grace, and kind of like revisit some of the important elements about how to really create and enforce a digital marketing strategy that actually generates leads. Right. And so I’m very excited to hear what you have to share. I’m very excited to hear what other people who presented as part of these webinar had to share. And great. I do agree with you. I think big shout out to mass torts made perfect connect because they really have created a wonderful program and agenda that, as you’ve said, is really kind of delivers, the mass torts made perfect experience in the best possible way considering the circumstances. So fair to say that as of now they are still planning on holding their event in October, the fall session. And so for those who are interested, tickets are available. And it’s a great experience; I must say, right, Grace?

Grace: [00:04:00] Yes. I mean, personally, if you if you’re involved in mass torts, or even interested in mass torts. It’s the place to go. You have to go to MTMP mass torts made Perfect in Vegas. It’s the only place you’re going to get the information you really need unless you go, you know, I mean, you can attend these many webinars. But the experience of a full day in having all multiple sessions in multiple days, you can’t get that.

Liel: [00:04:23] And the networking part of it as well. And it’s just like such a nice atmosphere that builds around this whole event. And so that was kind of like a big bummer for us. We were really looking forward to it in April, right in the midst of everything. But we now have a full session to look forward to. And so let’s see what the future brings. But hopefully there will be a mass torts made perfect full session happening. All right, Grace. So let’s jump right into it. What is it that you’re going to get us started with?

Grace: [00:04:58] So I want to start with the very first session on the webinar, and that was how to identify a mass tort. And, you know, they were kind enough to have Karen Lorens Puccio of de Garis right on the call, and she started it off. I mean, pretty amazingly, in giving you what is a mass tort, I know that seems simplistic, but to us, we understand that that’s not even simplistic. It’s just what some people just don’t know. Right.

Liel: [00:05:24] Totally. like, I remember when we’ve just had our first conversation, I still needed for you to help me differentiate between class action and a mass tort and really kind of understand very well what’s the difference and when one falls under one category and not the other. So, you know, we’ve all been guilty of that. Well, I’d like to believe otherwise I would feel very bad and only.

Grace: [00:05:50] Most people don’t know. I mean, I’ve been in this with Ed, you know, Edward Lake of Leaders and Mass Torts and Gacovino and Lake. I’ve been in this for about four years now. I want to say and honestly, I used to work in import export law. So personal injury law as a whole was not something I’ve ever dealt with. And then getting into personal injury, but also mass tort law, which is a whole other animal and then class actions. It definitely changed my perspective on certain types of legal marketing and how you do it and what it is and how to best serve your client or your customer, depending on which side of the fence you’re on, right. Yeah.

Grace: [00:06:26] So let’s start with what is a mass tort? I think she gave a very good definition. It’s very simple. And to the point, a mass tort is a single wrongful action that causes a similar injury to a large number of people. And we use the word similar because it’s not the same one over and over to everybody. OK.

Grace: [00:06:47] And that could be considered that might be considered a class action if it was the same exact injury over and over based on like the Takata airbags as an example or something like that, GM ignition recall, you know, that’s the same defect or issue for everybody. So a mass tort is like what’s happening with Zantac? What’s happening with Talc? What’s happening with. Give me some more Liel. We just went over ten.

Liel: [00:07:17] Yeah. Absolutely. We’ve have Juul, of course, we have also dieting pills coming up, Roundup of course. Did you mention that one?

Grace: [00:07:29] No, I didn’t mention it because it’s kind of petering out.

Liel: [00:07:31] It’s kind of on its last stages. Yeah. And so in class action Grace just to confirm. Right. Based on what we’ve discussed, the last time we’ve had this conversation would be like a security breach.

Grace: [00:07:42] Equifax security breach.

Liel: [00:07:45] Something that happens in one instance. A lot of people get compromised by it, an airplane crash or something like that. Right. That would be a class action, correct, Grace?

Grace: [00:08:01] Like the Amtrak. The Amtrak derailing. So, you know, she did go on to say what some questions that you might ask yourself. Essentially, this is more for the lawyer side. But it’s still good to understand what makes up of mass tort and what kind of questions you might ask yourself, even if this is a mass tort or not. And those are, you know, very basic. What is the number of potential claims? Are there signature injuries or you know, is there a signature injury or signature injuries?

Grace: [00:08:35] Do the basic elements of the mass tort present issues that are common to everybody? And how many defendants are there? Have numerous cases presenting the same issues been filed in court. So I know I went over very quickly. Five different bullet points, but it’s just basically asking yourself, is this a mass tort? OK, well, number of potential claims, signature injury or injuries, elements common to everybody. And how many defendants? And number of cases. So it’s really what it breaks down to. Right.

Liel: [00:09:06] Absolutely. Very relevant.

Grace: [00:09:07] So she does go over all the specifics, including the MDLs. And what you should be looking at as to why an MDL might be formed for this mass tort. And that’s a multi district litigation.

Grace: [00:09:20] And it’s a way for the judges, for the courts to basically put together these different cases into one place in for multi districts. Right. For multiple districts. And so that everybody can kind of be seen and heard together and as cleanly as possible. It’s kind of not impossible, but. Well, really, I guess it is possible to have, as an example, sixteen thousand talc cases. Could you imagine trying to hear each and every single one of those? So that’s why they put together the MDLs, which are multi district litigations.

Grace: [00:09:55] And I do have to say, guys, I’m not a lawyer. I play one on TV. So moving on. I think that’s pretty straightforward. I just want to make sure you guys understood what they were talking about on there. And that is what is a mass tort. And kind of think about the different questions you might ask yourself to figure out what a mass tort is. So I think it’s important, Liel, you tell me if you want to hear about this or if you think I should just go to the next section. What does the judicial panel on the MDL do? OK, so for those of you that don’t know what an MDL is or what it serves or what the purpose is of an MDL. Again, as I said before, it’s they combine everybody so that they can actually be heard. The judicial panel, it’s basically a group of people that are making judgments on that MDL. OK. And they decide as a group. If those groups of cases should be transferred for what they call coordinated pre-trial proceedings or centralization, again grouping everything together. They also select the judge that will preside over the consolidated cases. So judicial panel on who is on the judicial panel is actually quite important. To know, because that might not might, it will determine how well your case will end up. Right, Liel?

Liel: [00:11:20] Correct, yeah.

Grace: [00:11:21] So the panel is basically made up of seven district or circuit court judges. They call them the blue ribbon panel. So these ladies and gents are basically the crème de la crème of judges.

Grace: [00:11:33] Ok. And these people have history of making fair judgments. They have history of good judgments that they’ve made and so on. So that’s why they call them that. She even put in the slides, quote unquote, blue ribbon panel. So these people are very important people. They can make these decisions and they’re decided upon by the judicial panel who’s going to be the specific person to preside. And then you never have two judges from the same circuit to make it fair.

Grace: [00:12:08] Does that make sense, Liel?

Liel: [00:12:09] It does Grace sounds very firm.

Grace: [00:12:11] That’s the idea. Right. So they’re trying to make it fair on both sides. You know, as fair as they can. And they want to serve their client as best as they can. And that is by creating a group of people, not just the group of people that are the clients, but the group of judges that are going to be making these decisions. And they want to make sure it’s as fair as possible. So in addition to that, the office is located in Washington, D.C., and they hold bi monthly hearings around the country to consider motions to transfer a motion to transfer is basically saying, hey, I don’t think it should be in this district.

Grace: [00:12:45] The multidistrict litigation should not be in, pick a state. Right. In Florida. I’m in Florida. So I’ll use Florida. In Florida. Maybe we need to transfer it to Michigan. That’s actually a bad example because Michigan does not like, we don’t like Michigan for anything pharmaceutical. But let’s say we transfer all of it to Michigan because it’s a non-pharmaceutical MDL.

Grace: [00:13:12] That’s where they make those decisions. So they hold those bi monthly hearings to make those discussions and decide if they need to move it from one court to the next..

Liel: [00:13:20] Let me ask you something, right, because I’m always kind of looking and focusing on the marketing side of things. So when well, all of this is happening. Do you already start running campaigns? Like at this point, we already are actively trying to generate leads or this would still be considered too soon.

Grace: [00:13:39] So this might be considered too soon. But if you are not risk-averse, this may actually be a good time to get in, right? I mean, thinking as a marketer. Right. That’s why you ask that question. When we think as a marketer, we’re like, hey, if we see the writing, it seems to be on the wall. And you know enough about how these things work. You could make an educated guess that this could potentially become a mass torts, might go to an MDL and or you say you have a specific, you know, knock it out of the park case that you saw the injury was almost directly related or as closely related to the problem as you can see. And you have the proof of that. I say go for it. It doesn’t hurt to start small, you know, do it digitally because, you know, it might turn out to something. Maybe they could use their thousand dollar Google ads to try and get a couple of

Liel: [00:14:43] Oh, yeah Grace. Thanks for bringing that up, because I do want to give a flash update to all of our listeners who listened to our last week’s episode so I can report that one of our clients already got their ads credit deposited to their account, Grace. And so here is what I can tell you about. It was not a lot. It was just two hundred and fifty dollars now in this particular account. They spend big, right? Let’s put it on the category of more than one hundred thousand dollars a month. Right.

Liel: [00:15:17] And so if you think about it for the amount of cash that they put into the system and the amount of cash that they got as aid, if you may, we can certainly say that there is no Shake Shack injustice, going on in here like there was with the PPP loans. Right, if Google ads, thinks that you have enough money to sustain your campaigns. You’re probably just going to get kind of like a little wink there. Like here is free click on us. But if you are potentially one of the businesses that got most impacted by COVID and quite honestly, we need to think now of restaurants and need to think of other kinds of industries that are not necessarily legal-related. They may see the bigger deposits in their accounts, but I really don’t know. This is the only one that we’ve seen so far come through. And so we’ll see as we start seeing more ad credits rolled in, we’ll be able to make a better judgment. But so far, big spender did not get a big credit. OK, that’s it. That’s the end of the flash update

Grace: [00:16:23] That’s kind of cool, though, to know that. Thanks for the update. I mean, I was wondering about that kind of money thing. You know, we all wonder about money.

Liel: [00:16:31] I think, you know, as always, we’ve overplanned for great things and then, you know, not really enough to run a campaign, maybe a display campaign for a few weeks on a small market. But anyhow, you know, Grace, as we’ve said, every little help. And I think it’s a great gesture from Google and hopefully it will help and benefit many others. So let’s get back into it.

Grace: [00:16:51] Ok. Perfect. So, again, as he mentioned, yes, this potentially would be the time to get in now. There’s one thing that I keep kind of coming up against in terms of that. There’s something called a Daubert standard. OK.

Grace: [00:17:08] The Daubert principle, I believe that’s what it’s called in New York. And I think it has other names in different locations. I think it’s called… It may be called Frye, actually, in New York and Dauber in other locations, but basically it is the standard with which they decide if a mass tort is viable or not. It is based on scientific evidence. And what it does is it basically pulls together all the science involved, all the people on both sides and says, did this potentially cause that? Example? Talc, did Talc potentially cause ovarian cancer? Is there enough science out there? Expert testimony, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, just like a real case to even move forward with the concept of a trial period or the concept of a tort. Does that make sense?

Liel: [00:18:00] Yeah. It sounds like they’re almost kind of like staging a trial to try to join.

Grace: [00:18:05] They actually do. Yeah, it’s called bellwether trials. So if you understand statistical analysis, a bellwether, all it is, is basically a graph. And that graph is a graph of people. And to see how do most of the people fall inside of this graph of they took Talc for this many years and this is what happened to them or are a lot of people falling on what they call the outliers of this graph? Right. This bell curve really is what it’s called, not a graph. So at the ends of the bell, curves are what they call outliers. Those are the people that, you know, OK, they may have gotten ovarian cancer, but they had other cancers or they had something else that potentially caused it. So they fall outside of the curve. If most of them fall inside of what they call the bell of the bellwether trial, then they can to statistically say that this happened because of potentially that. And then along with the expert testimony, science memos, marketing, et cetera, et cetera, that’s when they decide at that point if the Daubert standard will pass. Does it meet the Daubert standard? Does it meet the Frye standard? And if it does? That point, the day that you find out that has passed. I say go for it, like try to go for it again. This is the risk, guys. You know, this is like putting money in the stock market, except it’s a little bit better because you have the potential for all the return and maybe not very much risk in the sense that if you’ve done your due diligence, you’ve looked at the science involved. You understand that this is a real potential case. As an attorney, you’re making those decisions anyway, right? You are taking those risks by taking on certain types of clients that you know from history. OK. These are the types of clients I want to take that I can help the best. It’s the same with the mass tort. You have to look at the science. You have to look at the injuries. You need to make sure that the standards have passed. Is this something a pie in the sky or does it look like a real legit thing? Talc went nuts. As soon as the Daubert passed, that’s when Talc or Johnson and Johnson decided to pull out. And they will never claim or say anything with regards to it because they are not saying that it caused ovarian cancer. They are not saying or even alleging that that had anything to do with their talc or the talcum product. And they are only going to stop selling talcum in the United States and Canada, but they will continue selling outside of the U.S. and Canada because there still are sales outside of here. So the reason that they stopped selling here. They’re claiming it has to do with a decline in sales, not because of what happened, but what happened was the Daubert standard passed on Talc. So it went nuts.

Liel: [00:20:54] I hear Your Grace. And just to help us understand a little bit more so like a timeline here, how long does it take? Like, from the very beginning that you’ve just talked about until you get to the results of the test. Is there a frame? It defers from time to time?

Grace: [00:21:13] Yeah, it kind of does, depending on the tort. Right. So I’ll give Zantac as an example. Zantac has been around as a drug for over 20 plus years. Right. Until recently, did we think that the elevated levels of I believe is NMDA and I keep forgetting the acronyms, but elevated levels of some chemical that’s in it, that when it’s heated, it causes they’re alleging that it potentially causes certain cancers in the body. Right. Like prostate. I think testicular is one of them. I think stomach’s another.

Grace: [00:21:44] The problem with that, it’s been out 20 years. So. It might be difficult to prove, you know, but those were one of those things that it’s been out 20 years and people will definitely get into Zantac. And so to understand the tort, the timelines, it’s different for every single one. Talc has been out, what, six years actually on one of the people that that’s on here her entire not career, but for the last six years, she said it right on the webinar. She was like, my life has been Talc for the last six years. And that’s how I mean, I think it might have got going on even longer than that. So the timelines on here vary by tort injury and the company that actually manufactures or created that product or designed it or whatever, that the defect is in the product itself or device or whatever. Right. Or mass tort or drug. So timelines are different. They vary. It depends on how quickly you can actually make the link between the two. If there’s a lot of people. So you know what? It’s I think maybe if you look at the FDA Web site, there’s a portal called Client Adverse Actions. OK, and this is something that if people have an issue with a product, there’s something that’s been approved by the FDA like let’s say a supplement causes harm to enough people. You as a consumer can go on the FDA Web site and report that you suffered or you believe you suffered an injury from something that’s FDA approved. Right. So you go on there and you report what’s called a client adverse action. You tell them this is what happened to me and if there’s enough of them. And that’s actually how Juul, how the FDA found out that Juul was creating potential issues for people. It was because of the client adverse reporting that they were doing.

Grace: [00:23:49] So, you know, again, timeline varies. You don’t know. I mean, you can make your best guess.

Liel: [00:23:56] And in the case, when you do recalls, those happen before? They usually happen before or after these tests and all of these, as you said, analysis is taking place. Is there kind of like a predictable way in which they go.

Grace: [00:24:11] Yes. So a recall. So this is the variables you need to think about. How big is the company that made that product? If they’re a big, big company, they’re going to fight you. They’re going to fight you tooth and nail. So it’s going to take forever. Right. Johnson Johnson.

Liel: [00:24:26] Yeah. They have money. They have resources.

Grace: [00:24:29] They have resources. But it’s not in their interest to necessarily settle because they have multiple consumer goods of every kind. And it doesn’t look good on them to settle. Right. So, you know, it just depends on the size of the company. It depends on how much money they actually have available before they go bankrupt trying to settle these cases. Right. So, yeah. So there’s a couple of variables that you can think about. To help you make the best educated decision on whether you want to go after that mass tort or not. But again, it’s still risk. It’s still essentially the stock market. And it’s still basically throwing your money out there and hoping you’re going to get the return that, you know, obviously six to one, ten to one return, if you can, two to one at minimum on every single case that you’ve purchased for this. But he could also turn the other way. Nothing happens. And there you spent, I don’t know, ten thousand one hundred thousand or more on cases that never panned out.

Liel: [00:25:24] But would you say that the going after recalls is kind of like a safer bet than when you are taking a rout on trying to build on something that is just at a stage of being reported by several users of the product or consumers of it harming to them in some way or another without it actually being officially recalled. Would you still see mass torts come up? Because, for instance, Juul did not get recalled. Right. It just changed the labeling. Correct. Adjusted their messaging and they included new disclaimers in their packaging and such to raise the awareness that they were being told that you were avoiding. So there was no recall as such. They just stopped selling the product. But it doesn’t sound like they officially said, you know what, we are removing it from our market because we acknowledged that it’s a leading cause to cancer. Right. So what I’m trying to get into here is that there is not always a recall, is there?

Grace: [00:26:23] No. And as a matter of fact, that like with Essure, it was pre-market approved by the FDA. So some people didn’t even want to go after essure. You’re like, yeah, but the FDA approved it. Why am I going to do something with that? They even put a black box warning. OK, black box warning is the highest level of a warning that the FDA can possibly issue. They literally put a black label on it that says this will cause you this harm, you know, or potentially cause you this. So they did that with essure. But because it was approved in advance by the FDA and then released, that one became a very weird and kind of touchy subject once it came out. And people were doing, you know, trying to get sign-up cases for essure, because what happened with insurance, it is an IUD, essentially not quite an IUD. It’s a coil that’s been used as a contraceptive. And it was breaking off, embedding, migrating. And also it had it was made out of nickel and there were no labels about nickel on the actual box or device when it was getting inserted in the women. And some women had sensitivities to nickel. And so they got nickel poisoning. I mean, there’s a whole bunch of things that happened with essure. They got taken off the shelves. They got retracted. If it was implanted in you, OK, we could we could leave it because if you remove it, cause you might need a hysterectomy.

Grace: [00:27:49] But some of them panned out. Some of them didn’t. And we still don’t know if that one is gonna be, you know, even after the recall, if anything is going to happen to it. So there’s just too many variables, I think, to not take each and everyone on a case by case basis and decide from there on all that possible information you can get. Listen to people like this. They don’t like us. Listen to people like leaders and mass torts, you know, listen to people like Edward Lake. Listen to people like, you know, mass torts made perfect. Like these are the people that you need to be listening to help guide your decision on what tort you should go after or not and whether you should go after it after recall, Zantac was recalled. Everybody wanted to get into Zantac, but some didn’t because they’re like, well, it’s been out for 20 years. Some other variables that we talked about already. And they’re like, no, I don’t feel like Zantac. It’s enough of a link between the cancer and the Zantac has been out too long. Who knows? Somebody took it 20 years, but he could have a history of this cancer and then he gets the cancer and so on and so on. So. Everyone’s case by case on. I mean, that’s the kind of what it boils down to, I guess.

Liel: [00:28:58] It’s definitely very interesting to hear. Right. What’s the thought process in how different standpoints can defame different arguments? So it’s very clear. It all comes down to being able to ring the right evidence and defend your beliefs, right. Your theory.

Liel: [00:29:19] It is. And that’s exactly right. That’s a very good word to use Liel, theory, because they’re also theorizing. Right. And even at the Daubert standard that I was just talking about, they’re theorizing. They’re saying there’s enough of evidence to link the two from the injury and the product or device or drug. But that’s it. They’re just saying that there’s enough evidence to move forward with potential cases. But doesn’t mean anything. You know, and the same with the recall. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything. But once that standard passes, as I said, it’s still that’s kind of a really good indicator. Let’s move on to this, OK? And if you decide as whatever that you believe that that’s a really good tort and for whatever personal reasons you might have, then I say, you know, go for what you think. You know, if you’re good business, the decider, if you’re good at making business decisions, then go ahead. It does not hurt to try and do that, you know, because you’re an attorney. You’re going to make money hopefully on the end, you know. But in the interim, you’re helping your clients. Right. Obviously, you’re not in it to just not make any money. But that’s you know, you are still helping people. And if you’ve made the decision and based on all the evidence, you possibly can. And then your gut still telling you, go ahead. This is a good decision. They do it. You know, I always tell people, look, at the end of the year, there’s two things you can do with the profit you make.

Liel: [00:30:44] You can reinvest it. Or you can spend it and pay taxes. Right. Why don’t you reinvested in a mass tort? If you have a $100k. You have 50 K. You have some money that you were going to end up paying taxes on. Or do something with it invested in a mass tort so that you can look at it like if it’s a stock, you look at it as if something that you can put on the shelf. Well, not on the shelf necessarily, but you know what I mean Liel, put it up like on the shelf for two, three to five, six years, like in the case of Talc, where it may not settle right now, but when it does, based on all the evidence that you learned a bit to that point, when it does, it’s gonna be good. So. I like to see this all the time and people kind of laugh at me when I say it. But is the juice worth the squeeze? That’s where it kind of boils down to for me. And I always look at it. Is the juice worth the work that I got to put into it? And you decide from there for yourself.

Liel: [00:31:43] That’s right. Well said. I like that. All right. What’s next?

Grace: [00:31:47] So what’s next is. So we had this is the one I was telling you. I think she said that her life for the last six years has been talc. And that is Danielle Ward Mason of Sanders Phillips Grossman. She’s going very in-depth into how to vet the case and discovery. OK. So vetting a case obviously is super important. And this is kind of, to your point, what we were just talking about. How do you look at a case and what makes one? You know, why should I go after this tort? She kind of goes over that very, very well. And she’ll say she says, how do you, in identifying a mass tort, you need to look at warnings, safety advisories that have been issued. Remember, we were talking about the FDA adverse actions. Availability of medical literature, because, remember, sometimes it’s in the marketing, right? They say. This does this. It’s gonna do this. It’s gonna do that. Or they have off-market uses in the literature. So FDA approved it for this use. They’re saying we’ll prescribe it to you for this use because the literature says I can from the company. That’s what I mean by a medical literature and off market use. And then, of course, and this is probably one of the more most important besides the other two. And that’s number of consumers affected. Right. Is it a lot of people that are affected by similar injuries from the same problem or product device. Now. The next step in their own mind, and this is part of the due diligence process, is establish the criteria. What do you think makes a good case? Are the injuries supported in the medical literature? In other words, is it say in there that this is this should not cause that? OK. Well, you have literature saying that this is not supposed to cause that. So I think try to remember. But one of these blood thinner medications, the thing with the blood thinner medication that they again, I won’t name the name because I don’t remember exactly which one it was. But that blood thinner medication as compared to the other blood thinner that was on the market. The reason that they went after that one instead of the other one was because you could, in theory, bleed out and there were no coagulants to stop you from bleeding out. And the potential for that was apparently higher for certain types of people. And it wasn’t sufficient of warning that they had another option that wouldn’t cause them to potentially bleed out. So those are the types of things that you need to look at. You know, are the injury supported in medical literature, like with the blood thinner, it didn’t say that they had other options that, you know, they could save their life, potentially, risk factors affecting or certain kinds of outcomes. You know, like potentially incarceration. You know, that could bring into question the person’s character and certain things that you need to think about. The frequency and duration of use, super-important. Give you an example. Some people say that Talc use, they wanted 10 years. Some people wanted no less than four years. Most of them, I find, have been between four and 10 years of use. And that’s generally the standard for that one.

Grace: [00:35:04] And then the severity of the damages. So those years are essential for criteria that need to be established. You need to figure those out and make sure that they’re in line with what’s happening. It’s in the medical literature. And you’re an attorney, right? So you can call on other attorneys in this network that you know, that are involved in this. They, generally speaking, are more than happy to speak with you, especially about a referral relationship. If these people are on the steering committees, if they’re on the judicial panels, if you know their firms are on these panels and stuff, why wouldn’t you speak with them, you know, or why wouldn’t you get involved with someone who’s in the network like Gacovino and lake, you know, or somebody that understands how to do the marketing like Nanato media. So these are things that, you know, when you’re establishing criteria, when you’re thinking about all these things, you still also have to think about how you’re going to get these cases. So that’s at the end of our conversation here, Liel. I just wanted to mention it now because I think it’s super important that even going through all this. Yes, it’s great. But you’re also in the business of law, so you need to think about how you’re going to obtain these cases and if that’s really a viable tort for you.

Grace: [00:36:14] And I’ll give you a really good example. As a matter of fact. Firefighting foam. That’s a new tort.

Liel: [00:36:21] We talked about that one.

Grace: [00:36:22] Yes, new, fairly emerging, taught. If you’re not. I mean, there are firefighters everywhere. But let’s say you were in a location where there just weren’t that many firefighters or 3M. Right. The earplugs. That’s kind of gone by the wayside a little bit, by the way. Just a little very quick update because of 3M made it with the government. So there’s some questions there. We don’t know yet. They went from being potentially great cases to being we don’t know what’s going to happen. But 3M, let’s say you’re not nearby military bases, you know what I mean, yes, we have digital nowadays. Yes. There’s an easy way to kind of put it out there and target certain people in social media. I’m not saying there isn’t. But you need to think about those things. So if you’re an agricultural community, roundup would have been easy for you. Right. Because you’re in an agricultural community. They recognize your name. They recognize who you are. And, you know, there’s a lot of farmers, commercial farmers around commercial was probably the best type of case you could get because they had proof of use. Right. Criteria met. They had literature. It wasn’t medical literature, but they had literature, risk factors, cofounding outcomes. Right. All of that played in. And it was perfect. And so if you’re in a location where they recognize who you are and you have agricultural community around you, Roundup would have been a very good case to go after. If at the very least, you could actually support the individual clients that are in your real community. So those are things that you should think about when you are thinking about the tort, in addition to the actual criteria that’s involved. Think about the marketing and how you’re going to do it. And that’s towards the end here. That’s what Ed talked about on the webinar yesterday, by the way.

Liel: [00:38:01] So what are the options Grace? Let’s give ourselves a quick reminder as to what routes you can take for marketing for mass torts. I remember very well. Again, on the early conversations that we’ve had on mass torts, there are different ways that you can get involved. Right? There is the completely hands off approach where you invest and you don’t necessarily have to take care of the marketing. You don’t necessarily have to partake in the handling of cases or anything around those lines. But as we’ve talked over the past few episodes that we’ve dedicated to mass torts, we’ve also uncovered that there’s different kind of partnerships that you can establish where you can actually partake in the responsibilities of handling the case. Right. And therefore, get yourself a better fee. Correct. So that’s definitely like the marketing side of things would be more applicable for those who venture into a partnership where they’re actually involved in the lead generation. Part of it. And also up to a certain extent, they’re also handling part of the case. Am I correct Grace?

Grace: [00:39:07] 100 percent. I couldn’t have put it better, Liel. That’s exactly right.

Liel: [00:39:12] Great. So, you know, we’ve had several guests in our podcast. Some of them, they’ve been in the lead generation world, right. Where they generate for you retainers. They take care basically of the entire marketing, the intake process.

Grace: [00:39:29] Yes. They can either pay for the leads to come in directly or they can pay for contracts. OK. Which is the retainer agreement with the authorization documents, along with an intake as a packet. Right. The questionnaire, whatever that needs to go through the criteria. So. Yes. But those are right. Two different ways. Right. Do you want to take in the leads directly and do you want to process them or are you taking in contracts that you’re reviewing? Would you still have to know, obviously, the criteria that you should be accepting and everything that you’re just reviewing and either accepting or rejecting based on the criteria being met by the intake center, lead company, et cetera?

Liel: [00:40:11] Ok. So that’s kind of like off hands approach where you can still generate leads, but outsource that task to a partner. They take care of it. And then you still get to handle the case. And obviously, you also incur the costs of having to pay for those services to generate those contracts, right?

Grace: [00:40:32] Exactly.

Liel: [00:40:33] So you need to know very well your numbers to see what is really the value that you can get out of that. Now, there is obviously, Grace, the approach of generating your own leads, as you very well mentioned there. And then you have to have your own infrastructure to make sure that you are helping navigate the lead all the way to conversion. Which one of the things that we’ve talked about almost every time the mass torts come up is that it can be sometimes a more extensive journey. Right. Mass torts leads do not always convert after just one phone call. Sometimes they take several points. Right. And there needs to be also a follow up to that. So it helps a lot having a good process in place, whether you are going for PPC strategy or on SEO strategy or other mass media kind of strategy. You still need to have a process where you understand very well. How do you take someone from being a warm lead, if you may? Right. Someone who raised their hand and say, hey, you know what? This could be something that may be applicable to me all the way down to retention. Right. Right. And so we have a good episode where we kind of like go more in-depth on that. Grace, thanks to you. Right. And I would definitely encourage those who are more interested in kind of like the lead generation lead conversion side of things to definitely go and revisit that episode.

Liel: [00:42:05] Now, Grace, there’s here a slide, right? Which is very interesting to me. Right. Which is the metrics to live by. Right. And I think this is so important not just for the mass torts side of things, but just to understand very well how to make good and smart marketing decisions. Right. There are a few components here Grace and I would love. Right. Just kind of like to wrap this up if you can help us describe each one of them. So for those who are not yet familiar in using them, can actually get familiarized and hopefully start using them or start asking questions so that they can come up with these numbers and therefore get better control of their overall marketing efforts. So, Grace, I’ll just go and list them all. And then we can go one by one quickly. Right. Perfect. Total conversion rate campaign level conversions, cost per conversion, leads to close ratio, and cost per acquisition. Right. So let’s go on the total conversion rate, Grace.

Grace: [00:43:15] Ok, let’s talk about each and every one of these. So this section was, of course, by the illustrious Edward Lake, Esquire. You know, my boss man who is founder of Gacovino and Lake, one of the founding partners. He’s also founder of Leaders and Mass Torts, which was the company that I’m also COO of where we sponsored the MTMP Connect webinar yet yesterday. And during that, the call, his portion had to do specifically with lead generation. What is it and how does it work in the metrics to live by? Which to me was one of the most important slides. I agree with you, Liel.

Grace: [00:43:53] Total conversion rate has to do with all the things that you’re doing to get that lead and then convert it into a case that is your total conversion rate. OK, now, Liel ad I have talked about this a few times. I don’t know if anybody’s actually heard us, but I cannot reiterate this enough when it comes to conversion, you need to define the conversion. OK. A conversion is not defined by your lead vendor. If that is so important, they can help you decide what conversion is and what conversion should be. But don’t let them define what your conversion is supposed to be from. Right. You know what your conversion supposed to be. You need to know what it goes from. Lead all the way to actual retainer in a case to signed up. That is viable. Right. That is, you want your total conversion needs to be looking at. Am I wrong?

Liel: [00:44:48] I agree with you. What you say, Grace, that you need to kind of understand what are your conversions. What are you gonna actually count as a conversion? Right. Because there may be different campaigns that you’re running where potentially downloading a guide can be counting as a conversion without necessarily having the lead. Send out a Web form or initiate a phone call as such. Right. It’s kind of like more of an indirect conversion, but still one. Right. Because they’re identifying themselves to you. Now, I think it’s very important to understand that, but also in relation to how many of these converted leads are actually, as you’ve said, turning into actual sign clients. Right.

Liel: [00:45:30] And I think that kind of like is how these following terms give more precision to your overall regard of leads and conversions and such. Right. Because you want to know what are your conversion rates in general. So if you’re running multiple campaigns, you want to understand out of a hundred clicks that I’m getting. How many of those are actually completing a call to action? Right. And as we’ve said, the call to action can be a download, the call to action, maybe a phone call or a Web form. And you want to be able to identify very well amongst all of your campaigns which campaign is performing at a better rate by generating more conversions. Right. But that’s not to be the only metric that you’re looking at because you may have other campaigns that are converting at a lower rate, but you’re getting actually more signed clients from them. Right. And so which one is going to be more valuable, the one that is generating you more conversions but less signed cases or the one that is generating you less conversions, but higher quality leads that are actually being converting? So that’s why these metrics can be a little bit deceiving and you need to know them all, right. Yes. Now, your cost per conversion is also going to be super important.

Liel: [00:46:47] Particular, for instance, if you’d like just to give you a very quick example here, if you’re going to be doing display campaigns or search network campaigns, your cost per conversion is going to be completely, unproportionate. Right. You’re going to be paying cents on display. You’re going to be paying at times hundreds of dollars for the conversion on a search network campaign. So you definitely need to understand how much is that different conversions are costing you and the value that you’re getting out from them. That’s extremely, extremely valuable information to know. But here these the last two are my favorite ones. Right? Because these are numbers that not a lot of people know about and not a lot of people are considering because most of the times when you’re working with an agency that does not follow through on the leads that are being generated for campaigns into actual signing stage. This information is no longer available to them to be able to convert it into metrics. Right. So leads to close ratio. Right. So how many leads, how many conversions does it take to get to one signed client? Right. And that’s massive. It’s a fact that you’re not going to sign every single converted lead. Even if you’re dealing only with the conversions that count as phone calls. Right. Not every single person that is gonna call you is going to turn out into a signed client because they may not have all the requirements to get signed. They may back down and then decided on don’t want to pursue a lawsuit or whatever it is that they’re contacting you about. And so that’s something that you always need to account for. Now you definitely want to know. Okay. So for every three or four leads that I generate, I do get one signed case. Then that’s your leads to close ratio. Right. That you can now understand that form 100 conversions that you’re generating. Twenty five of them are going to turning to signed clients. And that number is very, very, very important, particularly when you’re doing Cost Per Click campaigns, because it will allow you to understand the next point, which is your cost per acquisition. Right. Because now you need to take all of these and translate it kind of like a reverse-engineer them into numbers. Right. So understand. Okay. How many clicks does it take me to generate a conversion? Let’s just for the sake of giving an example here says five.

Liel: [00:49:09] Right. So it takes you five clicks. For every five clicks that you’re generating. You’re getting one conversion. Right. So that give you a conversion rate of 20 percent, which as a matter of fact, is not terrible for the legal industry. Legal industry average is seven percent, believe it or not, is extremely low. But that’s because there is a lot of people that don’t know what they’re doing and they’re just bringing down the entire metrics. But a good agency should not be performing on anything below 30 percent. But anyhow, let’s be on the point. We’re just set for example, 20 percent. Right. So from every five clicks, you get one conversion. Now, as we’ve said, not every single conversion is going to turn into a signed client. So it may be the case that for every four conversions, people that actually converted you ended up landing a client. So, Grace, this is gonna be a quick math test on you. How many clicks is that? Right. I’ll repeat. It takes five leads to generate one conversion. And then from every four conversions, one of them gets signed. So how many cliques have we’ve had to go through in order to get to that conversion?

Grace: [00:50:19] And you gonna make me write. One in five you said?

Liel: [00:50:19] 20.

Grace: [00:50:25] Right, because it was 5 and 4. So that’s 20. OK, great.

Liel: [00:50:25] So now you need to know how much Twenty clicks, right, Are costing you. And then you will know what your cost per acquisition is.

Grace: [00:50:39] Yes.

Liel: [00:50:40] And if that number is good in terms of against the ROI that you want. Like, if you can cover up that number and still get a profit, then your campaign is profitable. If your number there is too high. You’re spending too much to get an acquisition, and you cannot bring the cost per acquisition down because here is the thing. Right. Your cost per acquisition is not set in stone. You should be able to optimize your campaigns in order to try to get a better cost per acquisition. And you do that by, you know, trying to get good on your cost per clicks, increase your conversion rate. There are several things that you can do there to really manage that. But at the end of the day, the only way that you’re going to be able to understand whether you’re running a profitable campaign or not is if you know what is your cost per acquisition. And that’s always, what we see here, Grace, is the beauty of digital marketing, is that it makes it very easy for you to be able to bring it home with this kind of data numbers. Everything’s recorded for you. Now, try to do this kind of attribution on TV. Very hard. Right?

Grace: [00:51:53] It is.

Liel: [00:51:53] It is Grace. So I must say, you know, I, really geek out on these things.

Grace: [00:51:59] I was just about to say, I love hearing you talk about it honestly, like I do. I’m like, this is the part that I like to listen to you, because I know you’re literally is what this is what you do. So, you know, giving them do you give a lot of value add Liel and I mean, not just because you and I work together, you know, in terms of our network, but you honestly do. And I like that you geek out in this stuff because it’s hard for people to understand what they should be asking. And then not only what should they be asking, but what does that even mean? What am I asking? I don’t know. What am I asking? What is it? Conversion. What is this? What is that? I think you give a very, very good explanation of every single one of these and that the bottom line is if you don’t know your numbers. Your business is not going to be profitable.

Liel: [00:52:41] Yeah. And I guess I mean, all of this comes down also to the fact that you also need to know what’s the lifetime value of a client. Right. Like, if you don’t know how much money you’re generating for each kind of client, then you know, your cost per acquisition is not going to be able to compare against anything. And therefore, you may not be able to use it for much.

Grace: [00:53:06] Yeah. Right. To your point. So I know Social Security disability when a couple of these rules and regulations changed. A lot of people didn’t weren’t there to understand that they needed to pivot into potentially another practice area because they weren’t paying attention to the cost per acquisition. All the numbers that are involved in what they’re doing, including per practice area, just like you just said.

Grace: [00:53:28] So, you know, if you have a finger on the pulse of your numbers, you should not be surprised. Right. You should not have to guess and you shouldn’t have to. I mean, there’s no guesswork in this. It’s numbers that are in your face. Right. Especially with digital, like you said. And I mean, it’s right. You couldn’t have explained it any better. I really I like that leads to close ratio and all that.

Liel: [00:53:51] Exactly. All right, great. So let’s do some takeaways here. Right. Because I think we’ve went through a lot of information. I mean, you certainly dive deep into the whole nuts and bolts of mass torts. I mean, it’s very, very interesting. It’s a lot of information. And, of course, you know, for lawyers, it must be also very, It’s something if you’re going to actually litigate mass torts you need to be very, very passionate about it. Right. I like just hearing the story of someone who spent six years right behind something like the Talc mass torts. You certainly have to have a big passion for what you do for the entire process. For your clients. And for the process, because at the end of the day, it’s as you’ve said. Right. It’s almost like a scientific process that you need to purchase to go through in order to really be able to come down to a resolution that will make you want to move one direction or the other. So that was very interesting, Grace. So let’s take one take away from there and then one take away from marketing and we’re wrapping up.

Liel: [00:53:51] Let’s do it. All right.

Liel: [00:53:51] Raise awareness. Right. Be alert.

Grace: [00:55:09] Pay attention to recalls, like you said. Yes. Scientific literature. FDA client adverse actions. You know, the FDA is your friend. Like go to their website and sign up for the client adverse actions and recall notices. I’m signed up for all of it. So I get to know almost immediately. Actually, I did. I knew as soon as they recalled it on the FDA Web site, posted it right on the website. I knew that same day it happened. So be aware, inform yourself. Understand it, learn it.

Grace: [00:55:39] You know, you’re an attorney. You have the capability of really kind of digging deep into this on a potentially different level than other people, because you can reach out to other lawyers and talk to them about it, especially in this network. You know, know your information if you’re going to go after it. I think that’s number one.

Liel: [00:55:56] Yeah. Absolutely, Grace. And I’m going to go with number two. Know your numbers, right? Know your numbers. And before you get into anything that has to do with marketing. Know your internal numbers know the value of your different types of cases. And understand very well what is the value that each different kind of client can bring to your law firm. Your costs internally. So then you can actually understand and estimate how much is that you can invest in marketing and the time that you actually come up with that number and you are ready to go to a campaign, you have way more chances to succeed at it, because that’s another great thing about particularly digital marketing, is that you decide how much you want to invest. Right. You don’t need the market to decide it for you. Right. You may have to put up with certain limitations if your budget is not as competitive as the want of other law firms in your market. But you can certainly knowing how much is it that you can afford to invest; you can certainly keep your budget profitable for you. Right. And so I guess that’s the value of understanding numbers for any kind of legal marketing that you’re doing. Grace, I love this conversation. Thank you so much for filling us with so much data and insights on mass torts. And I’m looking forward to another conversation with you next week.

Grace: [00:57:20] Same, and thank you so much for the numbers information. That was awesome.

Liel: [00:57:25] Thank you, Grace. All right. Have a great afternoon.

Liel: [00:57:32] If you like our show, make sure you subscribe. Tell your co-workers. Leave us a review and send us your questions at ask@incamerapodcast.com. We’ll see you next week.

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