How to Feed a Lawyer (and Other Irreverent Observations from the Legal Underground)

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Editor 'n' Chef

Blawg Review has a new tagline.

David Giacalone

Hey, Ed-in-Chief, shouldn't the new tagline be: "The choice of a blawgger is an important decision and should not be based solely upon Blawg Review."? Rembember, every weblawg is not a lawyer ad. Or, do you live in Kentucky now?

Evan, sorry about that double Trackback. Technology is trickier than Mother Nature and Ethics Rules combined.


Every yellow pages I've seen contains prominent ad space from trial lawyers.

The majority of these ads tout the huge awards they've won for other clients. So it would appear that is how most consumers pick a trial lawyer.


Jeff: I agree that the Yellow Pages is how a lot of people find out about which lawyers to call. But that doesn't mean that's how they pick them. That's just a minor quibble. Do you think the new requirement of a disclaimer in Missouri is a good idea or not?

Editor 'n' Chef

Any disclaimer that begins with the words "The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon..." is a truism. For "advertisements" one can substitute any valid criteria, like the size of their briefs.

It's interesting, in light of David Giacalone's reference to the Kentucky bar ethics concerns about websites being advertisements, that Dennis Kennedy in Missouri has added that very disclaimer to his website, in bold type to satisfy the requirement for prominence. Why not come right out there and disclaim: "The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon websites." True...as they say in St. Louis.

Anyway, so as not to offend Professor Yabut, or Judge Posner, the tagline for Blawg Review has reverted to the ever popular: Welcome to a world where inexperienced editors make articles about the wrong topics worse. - Judge Posner

Thanks to Evan for all the visitors who clicked on the link to see the Blawg Review tagline. ;)

Editor 'n' Chef

David Giacalone's trackback pinger is stuck on stupid.


Evan-I agree with you. The new disclaimer requirement is a joke. Unfortunately, many businesspeople feel the same way about disclaimers on their products placed to avoid lawsuits. It's too bad we can't require consumers to have some level of common sense.


Jeff - We can, by not passing stupid laws designed to protect the stupid, and by not allowing big recoveries when they sue their lawyer because the ad promised a million dollar settlement! (But that doesn't mean I support tort reform!)


I think the warning could be a good idea, with the right tweaking:

"The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements since the high volume needed to make the nut on this 16-color double-truck and the fact that we plainly do not depend on client referrals for new business mean that our paralegals will be leaning on you pretty hard to flip your case the first chance we get."


Florida requires the following disclaimer on all print advertising:

"The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free information about our qualifications and experience."

As a result, my firm gets a number of calls from our Yellow Pages and print advertising asking for the "free information" promised in the ad. Upon our further inquiry, every single one of them thinks we've promised them free legal advice.

Every. Single. One.

When we explain that it's basically resume information, they uniformly decline. They want free legal advice, not resumes or marketing mumbo jumbo.

I think the Florida Bar requirement does these people a grave disservice, because, when applied to the real world, the Bar's language is inherently misleading through its use of the words "free information." If a lawyer put this language into his ad without the Bar's mandate, and the Bar recognized the way real-world consumers read it, they would probably ban it.

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