The Maryland Litigation Blog

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Terminology on Injury Lawyer Database

By Byron Warnken, on May 14, 2013

The statistics on InjuryLawyerDatabase come from two separate publicly available databases.  The first database we obtained was all of the public filings from the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission.  That data we turned into a book we called The Comp Pinkbook.  We sorted workers’ comp lawyers on both the claimant and employer sides, as well as companies, injuries and more.  We ranked lawyers by number of claims.  The most active of these lawyers can be found here.

The comp database produced a little bit of unusual terminology.  PP stood for “permanent partial” while CO was a “compromise order.”    Award types need to be looked at, as did injury combinations and a few other nuances.

It was nothing compared to the terminology involved with Maryland Judiciary Case Search.

Ultimately, we elected to start with only circuit courts from around Maryland.  Circuit courts have higher value cases.  The only problem is, in Maryland, there are 24 different circuit courts.  Each does, to a small degree, it’s own thing.  The District Court of Maryland is one unified entity, using only one set of terminology.  Terminology is quite different from county to county.  Formatting is certainly different.  Quality and accuracy varies pretty widely as well, though we won’t get into our opinions.

We decided, instead of trying to standardize terminology from one county to the next, we would put on the screen what we obtained from Case Search.  This way, the errors wouldn’t be ours.  More than just passing the buck, however, we feel like our place is to republish statistics as they come from the Judiciary, not publish fresh statistics.  We are not the source of the data.  We merely collate.  Categorization comes from Case Search.

Our mission is: Through transparency, we aim to bring the right clients together with the right lawyers online.  We add commentary, but we do not change statistics.  Statistics, including the “columns” come from “our source.”  Anytime we’re adding commentary it’s either on our blog, in our learn the law section, or clearly marked, if part of a lawyer or defendant page.  Furthermore, though lawyers can “purchase” their page, giving the ability to add their own commentary as well as remove advertising, lawyers may not change their statistics.

Some of the terminology is unfortunate.  For instance, the main case type of many lawyers is “other torts.”  Other than what?  What’s an other tort?  Professor Lande never taught me what an other tort was.

There are two separate categories for car accident cases: Motor Tort and Motor Torts.  In trying to keep with the data integrity, we didn’t even change the plural.  Far worse, however, for us and our clients, no one has ever searched for a “motor tort lawyer” in there life.  I’ll ask Google, but I’d venture to say that the term “Car Accident Lawyer” outnumbers “motor tort lawyer” a million to one.  But these are car accident lawyers (and so are these), not that you’d know it from the on-page terminology.

In any event, we had the launch of the Comp Pinkbook and a soft launch of InjuryLawyerDatabase last year.  Today we launch formally.  Our press release can be found here.  We love feedback, even about terminology.  We are currently working on large scale expansion efforts, including all Maryland lawyers and defendants.

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