I was giving a presentation last night to a group of college students in a marketing class. We were talking about internet marketing and the use of blogs to show off your expertise. The discussion gravitated towards the issue of whether or not someone could “pretend” to be an expert in something that they were not.
While theoretically possible, it is not likely that someone could long pretend to be an expert in something they have no expertise in. But it does raise the fundamental issue about de facto vouching of expertise by Google. If you show up on page one of the Google search returns, the presumption is that you must be an expert. Google has, in effect, vouched for your expertise by placing you in that spot.
Of course, clients should do more than review a website before hiring an attorney. Other questions will quickly reveal the gravitas of the supposed expertise. Questions we should be asked include:
- How many cases has the attorney handled concerning the specific issue which the client is dealing with.
- What have been the results that the attorney has achieved in each of those cases.
- How long has the attorney been specializing in this particular practice attorney.
- Are there any references who the client might speak to who had similar legal issues