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By By SAM HANANEL

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court seems split along ideological lines as it considers whether websites that collect and sell personal data can be sued for posting false information if the errors don't cause any specific harm.

The justices heard arguments Monday in a case involving Thomas Robins, a Virginia resident who noticed that an online profile about him compiled by Internet search site Spokeo.com was filled with major mistakes.

Robins, who was in his 20s, unemployed and single, found himself described as wealthy, in his 50s, holding a good job, and married with children.

The justices debated whether Robins can sue Spokeo for a technical violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, even though he could not show the mistakes marred his credit, cost him a job, or even a chance at a date.

Liberal justices seemed to side with Robins' view that being falsely portrayed is enough to show harm. But conservatives insisted the law required Robins to show exactly how he was injured.

The case is being closely watched by Facebook, Twitter and a host of other technology firms concerned about class-action lawsuits that would open them up to billions of dollars of damages for trivial violations of the fair credit law and similar statutes protecting consumer privacy rights. On the other side, consumer protection advocates say such lawsuits are the only way to hold companies accountable for mistakes.

"Seems like a concrete injury to me," Justice Elena Kagan said of the mistakes. "If somebody did it to me, I'd feel harmed."

law2Kagan said that Congress passed the fair credit law in the first place because lawmakers were concerned about people being injured by the dissemination of false information.

"People get these reports and you don't know what they are doing with these reports," she said.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor suggested the false information could have harmed Robins in unexpected ways.

"I will tell you that I know plenty of single people who look at whether someone who's proposed to date is married or not," she said. "So if you're not married and there's a report out there saying you are, that's a potential injury."

Spokeo lawyer Andrew Pincus argued that Robins' claims are too speculative and not the kind of "tangible" injury to economic or property rights that Congress intended when it passed the fair credit law.

The law was designed to keep companies from compiling inaccurate information that could jeopardize a person's ability to get loans or find work. Violators can face damages of $1,000 per violation, but that can climb into the millions in class-action cases.

Justice Antonin Scalia said Congress was not focused on faulty information itself, but on the failure of credit reporting agencies to follow proper procedures in collecting and reporting data.

"In fact, Congress has not identified misinformation as a sueable harm," Scalia said.

law1A lower court ruled that Robins could not sue because the errors were harmless. But a federal appeals court overturned that decision, saying it was enough that Spokeo violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Arguing for Robins, attorney William Consovoy said Congress meant to allow lawsuits for people with a "personal stake" in the publication of inaccurate information.

Chief Justice John Roberts wondered what would happen if a person had an unlisted number and a data company published a phone number that happened to be wrong. Is there still an injury?

Consovoy agreed that would be enough.

But Roberts said the court has historically required an "injury in fact" that seems to be lacking in Robins' case.

Spokeo's website allows subscribers to look up personal information about almost anyone. It has a searchable database of profiles that includes addresses, phone numbers, marital status, age, employment information, education and economic health. But the information is collected from a variety of public sources and the company warns that it sometimes contains inaccuracies.

A decision is expected by the end of June.

2015-11-03 09:08:18 GMT

Top Personal Injury Tips Straight From The Experts

Has someone caused you an injury? Are you looking at month worth of rehab or medical care because of it? If so, you have reason to sue them for your injuries, pain and suffering. Here is some great info below that might will help you build a case against the person that have hurt you.

Locating the best lawyer isn't easy. Find a lawyer who is experienced and who has won similar cases before. A good personal injury lawyer is equipped with lots of information about the best ways to approach personal injury lawsuits and prevail in court.

During your initial consultation with your personal injury lawyer, check to see how organized he is. This is important because you will want someone who is on top of their game to represent you. Small personality traits like this can make all the difference when the lawyer is making your case in court.

Lots of shady attorneys run lots of ads, and you should think twice about responding to them. Besides their terrible reputation, you can't gauge a lawyers expertise or experience on a television ad alone. Always meet a lawyer face-to-face prior to making your final decision.

If you hire a personal injury lawyer and you do not think he or she is getting the job done, fire them. You are paying for their services and should not have to deal with inadequate results. Find a personal injury lawyer who is organized, intelligent and experienced to give you the best chance. Contact this law firm

Just because your lawyer has diplomas hung on the wall doesn't mean that his references are real. Check out his qualifications, including calling past clients he offers as referrals, checking out groups he is supposedly affiliated with, and checking with his alma mater. Check that his law license is still valid, too.

Representing yourself in a personal injury claim can be difficult. One of the areas that should be addressed is the type of medical authorization that you will agree to in the settlement. Will there be a time limit on the coverage? Are you restricted to a specific provider? Make sure you know before you sign a settlement.

Do not hire a lawyer who contacts you first to help out with your lawsuit. A lawyer who contacts you first to offer their services is probably not good enough to attract clients. You should politely decline their offer and keep looking for a good lawyer who has more experience with this type of cases.

Many people regularly get back pain. You can use a warm towel or a warm water bottle to relax the area. Further strain may result in chronic or permanent damage that you may have easily avoided. It may also help to talk to an attorney.

Never hire a personal injury attorney without looking into their background. Just because they have a great demeanor over the phone and a winning commercial, this does not mean that they are qualified to handle your case. Look into all of their prior cases to see if there are any red flags.

If you have sustained a personal injury it can leave you wondering who is at fault and who is going to pay. Seeking the advice of a personal injury lawyer is a great way to see if you have a case or not. If you do, you are on your way to getting compensated for your injuries.

If you take what you have learned here and put it all to work for you, you could win your case. There is no need to struggle for the next several years to pay your bills when the person responsible gets away with it. Make them pay today so you can live a life worth living.
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Stop And Read This Article If You Need Help With Personal Injury

Suffering a personal injury is no fun, but it is especially frustrating when you are not at fault. You need to know what your rights are and what you can do to help yourself should this happen to you. Keep reading for some great advice about personal injury and the law. Contact us here @ http://www.thesnowlawfirm.com

If you want the best personal injury attorney around, check first with the ABA (American Bar Association) for the best in the business. This place will give you recommendations and present the file of your lawyer to date.

Compare personal injury lawyers. There are plenty of personal injury lawyers out there but unfortunately some of them are sharks. Contact your local Better Business Bureau and always check online for customer reviews. Typically though, the best way to find a good personal injury lawyer is through word of mouth.

Never commit to a personal injury lawyer until you have the breakdown of your fees in place. If you are short on money at the time, speak with your lawyer to determine if a payment plan can be set up so that you do not face additional stress after your case.

Document your costs. Record any expenses or loss of income you incur as a result of your injury. Some of these documents may include insurance forms, medical bills, prescription receipts, and property damage repairs. If you miss work because of the injury, be sure you also document any lost wages. Document each expense as it occurs, while it is fresh in your memory.

Make sure the lawyer you choose has good experience with personal injury cases. Do not judge the lawyer by how many times he settled, but by what he was able to do for his clients. A personal injury lawyer may have many "successful" cases where he settled for less then he should have.

Get the names, addresses and phone numbers of everyone who was present at the time the injury took place. Should the case go to court, it could work in your favor to call the people that saw the accident happen to testify on your behalf as to what they saw. Having eye witnesses can go a long way to win a case.

Take the time to select a reliable lawyer if you receive an injury. Look for someone who has experience with similar cases and ask about prices before you decide to hire a lawyer. Meet with different lawyers in your area and choose one who makes you feel comfortable and knows how to listen.

If you have been in an accident, it is important to visit a healthcare provider immediately, even if you don't think you are hurt. Many injuries are not immediately noticed. By visiting a healthcare provide, you can insure that you have not sustained an injury. If you did sustain an injury, the doctor will make note of it in your medical record which can be used in the court of law.

There is a lot of information that you will need to give to your personal injury lawyer. If you were involved in a car accident, for example, make sure they know what day and time the accident happened. You also need to inform them as to where the accident was and whether or not there were any extenuating circumstances (i.e., bad weather).

You should ask for references or past clients when speaking with your attorney. Past clients' opinions can help you better understand a lawyer's experience, character and communication skills. If the lawyer doesn't give references, then you should keep moving. If so, you are advised to steer clear.

Now that you've come to the end of this article, you can see the ways that you can help yourself through a personal injury. Take this advice to heart, and use every bit of it to your advantage. Soon, you will feel better and this will all be behind you.

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