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  • Kirk Hartley

Drilling Mud Asbestos Claims – An Example of the Age of Specialized and Potentially Global Mar

The tort litigation industry blossomed in part because litigation is similar to software in the sense that both involve repeated use of specialized knowledge. Repeated use of specialized knowledge creates economic leverage. In turn, economic leverage creates more opportunities for profits, as illustrated by financiers at banks and investment houses. The asbestos litigation industry exemplifies the reusability point as lawsuits time and again involve use of more or less the same set of facts about the "history of asbestos use" or the facts related to a particular defendant.

Today, the use and reuse of asbestos litigation information is growing even more specific as marketing efforts focus on particular types of asbestos products within a specific industry. Thus, in the past, the word "mesothelioma" dominated advertising to potential claimants, and there were few efforts to focus on particular industries. In contrast, industry-specific advertising is growing within the asbestos litigation industry. Consider, for example, asbestos litigation arising from "drilling mud," a product used drilling for oil and gas. In decades past, asbestos lawyers in Chicago were essentially clueless about drilling mud – instead, we knew about pipe insulation and various other products. Today, in contrast, there is advertising specific to drilling mud and basic information on drilling mud sits on web pages available around the world, as illustrated by this page from LawyersandSettlements.com. Add in language translation engines built into web browsers (e.g.Google Translate), and a global litigation industry is increasingly possible.

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About Kirk

Since becoming a lawyer in 1983, Kirk’s over 30 years of practice have focused on advising a wide range of corporations, associations, and individuals (as both plaintiffs and defendants) on both tort and commercial law issues centered around “mass torts.”

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