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Solo In Chicago

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

Lawyer Divorce Solicitations

There was an interesting thread recently on one of the list serves I frequent. It seems several lawyers on the list had recently been retained by clients to defend dissolution of marriage (divorce) actions and upon meeting with the new clients heard that the clients had gotten several lawyer solicitations/advertisements upon the dissolution case being filed. Interestingly, one of the lawyers had sent one of these advertisements to our friends over at ARDC and their opinion was that as long as the envelope and letter were clearly marked as advertisements then it's OK.

Is this too tacky? The family lawyer equivalent of "ambulance chasing"??

Maybe, but I don't find this as distasteful as actual ambulance chasing. Granted I've never been close to involved with PI work but putting two and two together I think some firms essentially find injured people or look for recent accidental deaths and solicit them for legal services. So something bad has happened and lawyers are sort of preying on people in the midst of a tragedy. But the "divorce solicitations" have come seemingly from a search of a court's records when a real case has been filed and that person likely should need someone to represent him/her.

I'm not rushing out to do this sort of thing but I'm not too offended by the behavior.


At 2:42 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Many years ago when my firm did family law work, we did this. Back then nobody (in Texas anyway) did this. Apart from phone book ads, we were alone in marketing i this way. It was scorned as well, but that, along with some clever advertising, drove our practice in this area through the roof. In a two county area at one point I think we were on some side of one in three family law cases (including child support issues an custody issues). The problem is once the competition in these letters gets too great the response falls off.

The ad everyone but the clients hated? Three panels. One was a silhouette of a man and woman sharing a drink at a fancy club that read, "if you thought you married one of these ..."

Then a silhouette of a donkey (jackass) that read, "but he turned out to be one of these..."

The the logo of the firm that read, "Then you need one of these."

The woman one was the same except it featured a silhouette of a barking dog.

Amazingly, the upset came at the female related panel ad that related to men, and not much the other way around. One offended East Texas sensibilities and one did not as much.

The problem ultimately is that I love lawyer marketing, I brought the case to overturn the Texas advertising restrictions on lawyers, but I absolutely hate family law cases.


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