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Now, however, increasing use of the Internet, particularly in the hands of plaintiffs' attorneys, promises to be key to ensuring the broad dissemination of information on hazards and harmful products -- if they're allowed to.
Lawyers like Langerman are connected to colleagues across the country through e-mail discussion groups and "list serves" that share information on their legal specialty -- insurance cases, in Langerman's case.
"Some attorneys might even be prone to be proactive," he says. "I'm the kind of guy who would probably be inclined to share all my documents, once I can."