Get into an accident that you caused? Suspect your morbid obesity is someone else's fault? Want a Frivolous Lawsuit and want it now? The Ambulance Chaser is your man!
This opportunistic and morally unscrupulous lawyer can usually be found representing the plaintiff in trumped-up junk lawsuits and resorting to Unconventional Courtroom Tactics. He will find the right doctors, extract the right testimony, and badger the right witnesses to make sure you're compensated for whatever it was that may or may not have actually been done to you (and that he gets his cut).
If he's losing, expect lots and lots of motions and requests that serve no real purpose other than to cause you to waste so much time responding to all of them that you'll gladly move to settle just to get him off your ass. If he wants to settle, he'll sue everyone with even the slightest connection to the defendant in order to drag them in and put as much pressure as possible on the main target. Did he lose? He's going to appeal and grasp at every last straw to make it stick, and if he's a really sore loser, he may try to interfere with the livelihood of anyone who he blames for the defeat, or may publicly accuse those parties of corruption or heinous personal misconduct.
Persistent and extreme incivility marks virtually every interaction with him. Correspondence with him will involve innumerable rants about your incompetence and the lack of merit to your claims and the flimsiness of your case, and will probably also include threats of personal sanctions and spurious claims of misconduct. In person, he will be unbelievably rude, aggressive, belligerent, and disruptive, pulling all of the same shit that he pulls in emails and filings, and if you are unlucky enough to be stuck in a deposition with him, he will likely make tons of lengthy speaking objections (both to disrupt the opposition and to coach his client on how to answer), and very well may also be prone to screaming outbursts. If they advertise on daytime television and highway billboards, you're probably looking at one, especially if they operate out of a location in a strip mall on the edge of town.
This trope is usually Played for Laughs, as the more corrupt the Ambulance Chaser, the more ridiculous their cases will be.
The name originates from the cultural perception that lawyers are Corrupt Corporate Executive-like opportunistic scavengers who profit from misfortune and will take on cases regardless of merit for the sake of money; if they aren't working on a contingent fee arrangement, they will be more than happy to take a case with just enough factual and legal merit in order to run up a large bill if they know that the client will pay even though they know that they probably won't be able to win or settle. Ergo, when a lawyer sees an ambulance blazing by, he comes to the logical conclusion that someone has been injured, and therefore, requires legal representation as someone should always be responsible for his injury.
Note that within the legal profession, calling someone an ambulance chaser is equivalent to calling them bottom-feeding scum. The "polite" term (in North America at any rate) is "plaintiff's lawyer" or "personal-injury lawyer/attorney"...but even that doesn't do much to hide the disdain of pretty much every other form of lawyer for them. If a legal professional specifically refers to an attorney as an "ambulance chaser", they're straight-up calling them an asshole. Still, while they may not exactly be the most upstanding members of the legal profession, they stay around because the cases that they take, while seemingly asinine and ridiculous (and they very well may be), still have some basic legal ground, and no smart attorney is going to take a truly frivolous case. Doing so counts as barratry, and attorneys who repeatedly take ridiculous cases with no legal merit can and frequently will get suspended for long enough to effectively shut them out of the legal profession, or disbarred in cases of truly extreme misconduct or a lengthy history of being a menace to the profession. Contingent fee setups also offer a strong disincentive to accepting questionable cases, as the prospect of eating the cost of an unsuccessful case is something that gives most attorneys a very good reason to make a solid inquiry into the facts of the case before choosing to pursue it. If it's either complete bullshit or has no legal backing, they will decline unless they really want to get an entry on their public disciplinary record (or they think they can quickly settle it, which often leads right back to the former).
Some attorneys do get duped, however, as clients will often lie or omit significant portions of the story. The dividing line is that a legitimate attorney will cease representation after learning of the deception, while a dirtbag will keep pursuing the case to the bitter end, and may even work to help conceal inculpatory evidence if they're sleazy enough. Extreme rudeness and incivility in representation are also strongly discouraged, as it's a very easy way to get hit with sanctions when the opposing side reports to the judge that you've been a gigantic dick to them for no good reason. If your impertinence crosses into outright misconduct, you very well may lose what may have actually been a legitimate case for your client, as there are also very clear rules about how clients cannot profit from the unethical behavior of their attorneys, even if they likely would have had a favorable determination otherwise, and that sort of outcome will get you sued for malpractice by your furious client.
This trope is significantly Older Than They Think, as the practice of law in the West, including personal injury law, dates back to the Roman Empire. The Romans were infamously litigious, and their lawyers (who were more rhetoricians than legal professionals) included a significant number of ambulance-chasers.
Note also that in several European countries which follow civil law jurisdiction rather than common law, this kind of practice is explicitly prohibited: one must not gain benefit from injury and/or compensations.
The Ambulance Chaser shows up when Hilarity Sues. Expect comments of ambulance chasing in a good Evil Lawyer Joke. For the dramatic, competent, (usually) Criminal Law version, see Amoral Attorney. Ambulance chasing lawyers often appear in commercials on TV. Probably considered a Slimeball. Compare Bunny-Ears Lawyer for when lawyers are merely eccentric rather than amoral.
- In Disney's Hercules, one of the townspeople dismiss Hercules as "just another chariot chaser."note
- Even before being seduced into a murder plot in Body Heat by Femme Fatale Matty, it's clear that Ned Racine is a particularly disreputable low-rent lawyer.
- Roland T. Flakfizer from Brain Donors is a literal Ambulance Chaser — his very first appearance in the filmnote features him chasing an ambulance on foot to the scene of an automobile accident, where he immediately begins to yell about the impending lawsuits he plans to file.
- A deleted scene from Bruce Almighty has Bruce answer a woman's prayer for more money by causing a milk spillage in a supermarket, having her slip on it, and having a lawyer immediately turn up.
- The Client: Gil Beale, the first lawyer that Mark tries to hire. He sits around in hospital waiting rooms looking for potential clients. And Mark is sent away by his secretary who says he only attends injury cases and there is already a line (though this is admittedly the correct thing to do - this is a lawyer who would be profoundly out of his depth/experience in the kind of case Mark needed him for, even if he were completely well-intentioned).
- Joe Adler of the Mike Judge movie Extract is usually thought of as this. Judge apparently based him on a Real Life lawyer.
- Good Girls Go to Paris: A sleazy lawyer shows up at the Brand mansion basically demanding a payment for the guy that Dennis hit with a car. Patriarch Olaf Brand actually calls him an "ambulance chaser."
- "Whiplash Willie" Gingrich (Walter Matthau) in Billy Wilder's The Fortune Cookie.
- In Interstate 60, the protagonist Neal comes across a town called Morlaw while on the titular road, in which all the residents are lawyers and everybody sues everybody. While in a lawyer's office, Neal sees an ambulance driving by, with a HORDE of other lawyers running after it.
- In The Meanest Man In The World, Jack Benny plays such a lawyer with Eddie "Rochester" Anderson as his assistant. While talking to a client in his office an ambulance screams by and both men jump to their feet and start to race to the door. Remembering their client they stop, shrug and sit back down with Benny saying something "Well, next time."
- In My Cousin Vinny, Vinny was clearly expecting a career in this mold before the events of the film. When he spots a man in a neck brace, he stops to ask how the man hurt himself, then loses interest when he learns that the man was on his own property.
- The Amoral Attorney in North is introduced in this manner.
- Joe Miller in Philadelphia has cheesy TV ads and hands out his business card to random people in hospitals and on the street.
- Deck Shifflet from The Rainmaker qualifies except for one thing: he hasn't managed to pass the bar exam.
- In Rat Race, noted attorney Gloria Allred (As Herself) was nearby when a man got run over by an ambulance and was ready to make this man into a client. Knowing the attorney's reputation, the driver quickly agreed to give the man a ride.
- In Revenge of the Nerds III, Dudley "Booger" Dawson from the first film is an attorney, and he gets a call from the new-generation Tri-Lambs to help them out of legal trouble. He says he's on his way to meet a client. In fact, he's tailgating an ambulance.
- Mitchell Stephens of The Sweet Hereafter says he knows he comes across like this, but he doesn't care - his real goal is to make lawsuits so costly for corporations that they'll take the time and spend the money on safety, instead of cutting costs and putting other people at risk.
- The Verdict has Paul Newman as a disgraced bigshot attorney who's become a drunk and now limits himself to trolling funerals for clients. The film kicks off with him finding a case to care about.
- Wild Things: Amoral Attorney Ken Bowden (Bill Murray) is in the middle of a consultation when he hears an ambulance go by. He starts to stand up, thinks better of it, and sits down to continue the consultation.
- The werewolf lawyers in Barking by Tom Holt do, in fact, have an instinctive tendency to chase ambulances.
- The Book of Mormon includes a city where the lawyers deliberately "stir up the people to riotings, and all manner of disturbances and wickedness, that they might have more employ". They don't take kindly to the missionaries calling them out.
- Anna's lawyer in My Sister's Keeper travels with a service dog, despite the fact that (as everyone he meets is constantly noting) he isn't blind. Unwilling to admit that he suffers from epilepsy, his sarcastic responses to that observation are a running gag in the book. One is, "I'm a lawyer. He chases ambulances for me."
- The Rainmaker by John Grisham has examples where lawyers creep around accidents, and hospitals to pick up insurance cases.
- A particularly noteworthy scene involves protagonist Rudy's friend and advisor Deck waking him up in the middle of the night with no explanation, and taking him to the scene of a horrible accident: a riverboat sank and the police are retrieving bodies from the water. The police announce to the crowd that they've identified the body of a particular person, causing a wail of despair from the deceased's family. And then the lawyers strike, trying to get close to the grieving family and offering their business cards. Rudy watches all this, stunned and disgusted, and then watches Deck do the same thing. Rudy runs away into the night, and it marks the real turning point of his disillusionment with the practice of law.
- Stanley Hastings from the Stanley Hastings series is a self-described ambulance chaser.
- Barry Zuckercorn and, later, Bob Loblaw in Arrested Development.
Loblaw: Why should you go to jail for a crime someone else... noticed?
- The Babylon 5 TV movie The River of Souls has Captain Lochley and the station sued for harassment by the operator of a holographic brothel. The lawyer he hires is referred to as one of these.
- On Barney Miller, Arnold Ripner had the reputation for being this type of lawyer at the start, to the point of trying to drum up business amongst those in the holding cell whenever he came to represent another client who arrested. However, he quickly evolved into a full-fledged Amoral Attorney, successfully suing Harris for Harris' depiction of him in his novel Blood on the Badge and ruining his career as an author.
- Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad and his own Spin-Off Better Call Saul is a clear example of this, complete with garish, low-budget TV commercials that would make Lionel Hutz jealous. However, he is actually deliberately cultivating this image in order to hide both how incredibly competent and incredibly crooked he actually is. See also his entry in Amoral Attorney. He tried to be a competent desk lawyer in the past but realized he needs the showmanship and his ethic is too garbage for it.
- The Brittas Empire: The episode "Brussels Calling" has Julie drafting in John Rawlinson, a sleazy lawyer she met while stripping at the pub, to assist in acquitting Helen Brittas of attempted murder (something which Helen did try to do). Helen proceeds to have an affair with Rawlinson while Gordon is at a conference in Brussels.
- A character in Brazilian soap opera Caminho das Índias was a labor attorney who encouraged his potential clients to fake injuries to sue their employers.
- Daredevil (2015)
Brett: I thought "ambulance chaser" was a figure of speech.Foggy: Not one of your best burns, Detective.
- Lampshaded in the pilot episode when Nelson & Murdock turning up out-of-the-blue to represent Karen Page proves a Spanner in the Works for the whole Evil Plan to frame her. Afterwards Wesley dismisses them as a couple of ambulance chasers (they were indeed trawling for clients as their legal practice just opened) but his boss Wilson Fisk orders Wesley to open a file on them in case they come in useful.
- In the series finale. Foggy approaches Detective Brett Mahoney when the latter is supervising Felix Manning being loaded onto an ambulance after an encounter with Daredevil.
- On Dharma & Greg, Greg at one point got his own practice and swore he wouldn't be an ambulance chaser. However, business was very slow and he started to get depressed. Then one night, he heard an ambulance park right outside his building. After pausing to consider, he made his decision:
Greg: It's not chasing if it's parked.
- The Valeyard from the Doctor Who story arc Trial of a Time Lord story arc appeared to be this at first. He isn't. He's actually much worse.
- Family Law: Rex Weller is outright proud to call himself an old-fashioned shyster chasing a buck, no problem taking on a crazy client if it means a big payday and even bits like encouraging Viveca to move into a crappy apartment building as "those are gold mines for personal injury lawsuits." A running bit is the rest of the firm annoyed at his TV and bus ads making them all look the same way.
- However, Rex can show some surprising ethics and in later episodes, surprises even himself by taking on a pro bono client and truly caring for their well-being.
- Franklin & Bash has the title characters acting as Lighter and Softer versions in the first episode before they move to a large law firm. One of the first things they do in the series is hear a car accident, rush to the scene, and represent the guy who caused it in a suit against an ad company because their billboard "distracted" him.
- I Dream of Jeannie: When Jeannie gets amnesia after being hit on the head at NASA, she's represented by a lawyer who happens to have been on a tour of the base at the time.
- JAG: In "Standards of Conduct", one of these goes after Harm in a traffic accident scam. Actually Harm concedes that he doesn't know enough about civil law/tort to handle it himself.
- Lethal Weapon (2016) has Leo Getz, who seems the archetypical ambulance chaser. However late in the episode, he makes the point that while he would do fine in a legitimate firm, there are very few lawyers in those firms that could survive in his world.
- An episode of Lois & Clark features one. He's representing a former rock musician who's suing Superman due to Superman allegedly having injured his hand while saving him and ruining his musical career. The case gets dropped when Lois convinces the musician's girlfriend to walk in front of a live news broadcast and tell the camera that the musician's hand is just fine and he's been faking it the whole time for publicity.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Marathon Man", when Monk and Sharona stop by a crime scene they happen to see while driving by, Stottlemeyer asks Monk if he's chasing ambulances.
- Garrett Price, the attorney in "Mr. Monk Gets Stuck in Traffic" who Monk and Natalie meet during a traffic stoppage following a car accident. Price actually solicits Natalie when she's sitting in the back of an ambulance, getting treated for a broken arm. He reappears in "Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa Claus".
- Claire Sawyer, future lawyer, from Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide works with her fellow middle schoolers and will work up lawsuits on anyone someone asks her to, no matter how ridiculous the case is.
- A Night Court episode has Bull's cousin as one of these, who sues Roz after Bull borrows her gun and shoots himself in the foot.
- The Night Of has John Stone, a lowly lawyer who trawls late-night police precincts for hookers and pushers to recruit as clients. He advertises on the subway and pays cops to hand out his cheesy business cards. While he waits on a client, a cop cracks that he's just heard an ambulance siren pass by and asks if Stone wants to chase after it.
- Our Miss Brooks: In the episode "Hospital Capers", a lawyer (a literal ambulance chaser) gets Mr. Boynton to sign a contract hiring him as counsel; the contract features a hefty penalty if Mr. Boynton chooses to terminate his representation. When Miss Brooks visits the lawyer, he hands her ever larger magnifying glasses to read the contract's fine print. Lampshaded when the lawyer admits to Miss Brooks that he's been disbarred in several states.
- Picket Fences: "Douglas Wambaugh for the Defense, your Honor"
- The protagonists of The Practice have this reputation among other lawyers due to their somewhat sleazy tactics and their willingness to represent (often successfully) clients with fairly shaky claims, e.g. suing a carnival clown for fat shaming. They're a much more sympathetic version than usual, and one of them says that, while their nuisance lawsuits may seem frivolous or silly, they matter to the people who file them.
- Referenced in Pushing Daisies, when the main characters, a private investigation team, see a cropduster crash into a building. They then go over there and Chuck says that she's asking without any judgment whether this behaviour qualifies as ambulance chasing. Emerson says "if you're asking without any judgment then yes it does."
- One of the villains in Reaper was one who returned from the dead with leech powers. Bloodsucking attorney indeed.
- The Rockford Files episode "The Attractive Nuisance" features one.
- Scorpion features a particularly incompetent one named Haywood Jahelpme Morris for a four-episode arc in Season 2. And yes, that's his legal name. He had it changed.
- Jackie Chiles, Kramer's attorney from Seinfeld, who was a caricature of Real Life defense attorney Johnnie Cochran.
- Shameless (UK): A pair of them get Frank to sue Yvonne, and when he drops the case he gets a bill for a thousand pounds.
- Shameless (US): Frank's lawyer can be found pouring water on stairs leading to train stations. When the water freezes and someone slips on the ice, he is right there to offer his services to sue the city.
- The Tales from the Crypt episode "Let the Punishment Fit the Crime" deals with an unscrupulous lawyer being held in a small town which metes out Disproportionate Retribution through its court system. The lawyer is going to be given ten lashes for having too many numbers on her license plate. As a Fate Worse than Death, she winds up replacing the defense attorney... and is going to remain as such until someone from the outside world stumbles into town and replaces her.
- What's Happening!! had an episode where Rerun got sick while at Rob's Place and wound up in the hospital. The initial diagnosis was food poisoning. His roommate in the hospital is a man in a body cast (he was in a bus accident) and meets his lawyer, who then suggests suing Rob over it. Later, when Rerun's illness turns out to be appendicitis, the lawyer wants to turn it into a malpractice suit against the hospital, but Rerun (who's gotten fed up with all the drama) tells him, "The Pacific Ocean is that way. Keep walking until your briefcase floats."
- A 2022 Doonesbury strip has Trump advisor Trff Bmzklfrpz hanging out in an emergency room watching for literal examples of this trope, to recruit them for Trump's legal team.
- Ace Attorney: Despite the games actually averting this through the thematics of the cases, at least one witness attempted to insult Phoenix Wright by calling him this. It worked. And the witness went DOOOOWN.
- City of Heroes has billboards all over the city advertising for Chris Jenkins to represent potential clients injured in "superpower related-conflict" incidents.
- The world of Grand Theft Auto wouldn't feel complete without one of these.
- In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Ken Rosenberg is often referred to as being one of these, on top of being very bad at his job. One character says that Rosenberg could "defend an innocent man all the way to death row". While some of the events of the plot seem to bear this notion out — e.g., him asking Tommy to intimidate the jury because he himself can't (although that was understandable, given how stressed he was at the time) — others, like his ease in bailing Tommy out every time he gets arrested, do not.
- Grand Theft Auto IV has Tom Goldberg, an influential lawyer in the political scene that Niko is tasked with killing once he threatens to expose the corruption of Deputy Commissioner, Francis McReary. The website of Goldberg, Ligner & Shyster lists his firm's most notable cases, such as suing a pharmaceutical company's CEO for a small accounting error, successfully accusing a donut chain of intentionally waning police forces, and trying to blame media store "Pirate Music" for the bizarre actions of a teenager. If you bring a grenade to the office to kill him, one of his reactions is to suggest they sue whoever sold it to Niko if it goes off.
- In a Grand Theft Auto V radio commercial, the lawyers take a more proactive approach to ambulance chasing by telling people to throw themselves in front of vehicles to get injured for lawsuits.
- A background conversation in Mass Effect 3: Citadel involves a lawyer explaining why it is a very bad idea to chase an ambulance in a skycar.
- "Legal" Lee from the video game Saints Row acts like this, and his forte is insurance fraud. And he does, in fact, drive an ambulance.
- He reappears in Saints Row 2 as Johnny Gat's lawyer. When a dropped gun goes off, he asks if anyone was hit and needs a lawyer. He also asks you to don a police uniform in the side mission "FUZZ" in order to turn public opinion against the police.
- In Scribblenauts, spawning an ambulance and then spawning a lawyer will cause the lawyer to run after the ambulance.
- One U-Drive It mission in SimCity 4 has you driving an accident victim to an unscrupulous lawyer's office instead of straight to the hospital, so they can prepare a lawsuit.
- In Toontown Online, one of the cogs are called Ambulance Chasers. Too bad there aren't any real ambulances in the game.
- In the anthropomorphic world of Kevin & Kell, the vast majority of lawyers are sharks. And they will take "an arm and a leg".
- Penny Arcade: In one strip parodying the ever-green topic of video game violence, Amoral Attorney (and eventually disbarred lawyer) Jack Thompson makes a predictable appearance, only to run off mid-interview because he heard an ambulance go by.
- Schlock Mercenary has the partnership collective, a hivemind of lawyer snakes. After a certain story arc, the protagonists are tasked with and paid for "administering punitive damages" against the collective for damage the Collective caused in a revenge plan against Tagon's Toughs. Mainly done by blowing up attorneys and their property. At a point in the comic, they take on to patrolling coffee shops, ambulance companies, and divorce courts because of just losing their ship and being broke.
- In a sequence from Wapsi Square starting more or less here, Bud the indestructible golem girl has a slight accident with the sidewalk. When she discovers that the hunk who comes to her assistance is actually an ambulance-chasing lawyer she decides to give him his comeuppance.
- Mystery Flesh Pit National Park: Some attorneys made a point of advertising their services to parkgoers who might wish to seek compensation for injuries or trauma resulting from the hazards of the Pit. It was a niche but highly profitable endeavor, and the suits and settlements only became frequent after the disaster in 2007.
- Not Always Right has this story which inverts it. The lawyer is more worried about the fact that his client has a relative who's seriously hurt, while the client is the one concerned about lawsuits.
- And this security guard is apparently so terrified of getting sued that he actively tries to prevent the submitter from calling emergency services on a choking victim and tries to get them to go away when they show up. Ironically enough, obstructing emergency services in that manner is a serious crime, which means he'll probably never work in that capacity ever again.
- In an episode of Beetlejuice in which the title character is shown a world where he didn't exist the Monster Across the Street (or rather, The Monster Who Lives Down The Block) has become this type of lawyer. He literally drops a conversation with BJ to chase down an ambulance.
- Stan Freezoid in Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, who casually hands out his cards to people who slip on the trail of ice he leaves behind.
- In one episode of Rugrats, Angelica sues her father note . At one point, she fires her lawyer, sending him off with:
Angelica: It's back to chasing ambulances for you.
- The Simpsons: Frequently representing the Simpson family until 1998, Lionel Hutz (AKA Miguel Sanchez, AKA Dr. Nguyen Van Phuoc) is an unscrupulous, unqualified failure, and the only lawyer willing to represent Homer in his various trumped-up junk lawsuits (e.g., this exchange from "New Kid On the Block"):
Homer: All you can eat ... Ha!
Hutz: Mr. Simpson, this is the most blatant case of fraudulent advertising since my suit against the film The Neverending Story.
Homer: So, do you think I have a case?
Hutz: I don't use the word "hero" very often, but you ... are the greatest hero ... in American history.
Lionel Hutz: Hey, how about that? I just looked something up! Those books behind me just don't make the office look good, they're full of interesting legal tidbits just like this!
- It's particularly on display in his first episode, "Bart Gets Hit by a Car". When he shows up beside Bart's hospital bed, Homer mentions that he saw Hutz literally chasing Bart's ambulance. After they initially decline his offer, he leaves the room and immediately goes after some paramedics pushing a gurney. "Lionel Hutz Attorney at Law!... Is that a broken neck?... great!" And later, when Homer visits him in his office, he hears an ambulance go by and starts to leave, before suppressing the urge and resuming his talk with Homer.
- All of the above notwithstanding, Hutz was also capable of grabbing the Smart Ball whenever an episode's plot required it. In "New Kid On The Block", Hutz won the lawsuit Homer filed against the Frying Dutchman restaurant, in part by being lucky enough to have a jury full of fat people and in part by putting Marge on the stand and pointing out that the lengths they went to find another all-you-can-eat fish restaurant were not those of a man who'd had "all he could eat." In "Flaming Moe's", Homer tries to sue Moe for stealing a drink recipe that Moe stole from him, but Hutz actually bothers to do some research and points out that you can't copyright a drink:
- Hutz doesn't seem to understand conflict of interest either. He agreed to represent people in a lawsuit against the producers of a local version of A Streetcar Named Desire for not having roles despite Hutz himself playing Mitch.
- In The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries, there was an episode featuring a Swedish lawyer named Pjerry Nelson, who was voted as most likely to become an ambulance chaser.
- There is Joe Addler from Beavis And Butthead, who has ads on TV about lawsuits concerning whiplash damage and taking on frivolous sexual harassment cases. In one episode, when asked if he had ever been jailed for contempt of court, he answers that he "believe[s] that was among the charges, yes."
- Doug Savage on Science Court could be considered a kid-friendly version of this. Nearly every case he takes on, his client turns out to either be expecting too much of the product or service provided by the defendant, or is personally responsible for what went wrong. However, he always seems to genuinely believe his client is in the right... because he's just as ignorant of basic science as they are.