Via Ernie the Attorney comes this link to a provocative You Tube ad by Florida divorce attorney Steve Miller (posted at Denise Howell’s new fun blog). After insulting paralegals, overpriced downtown lawyers and court clerks, Miller invites clients who want to escape “the hellhole they call a marriage” to visit his website, pay up and “get on your way to getting rid of that vermin you call a spouse.”
Personally, I’m not sure why Miller chose to market to angry or disgruntled clients, because he doesn’t have to. As Miller’s website makes clear, Miller competes aggressively on price which I’ve always believed is both a credible and necessary approach
not just for lawyers, but for clients priced out of the legal services
market. But by attempting to appeal to people who call their spouse
“vermin” or refer to their marriage as a “hell hole,” Miller virtually
guarantees that he’s going to attract clients who are unreasonable and
uncompromising. These clients may think of their spouses as vermin
when they call to retain Miller, but I’m guessing that by the end of
the case, they’ll be referring to Miller as vermin as well. Sometimes
you get the clients you deserve.
Still, though Miller’s approach isn’t one I’d adopt, I don’t advocate
regulation or restrictions on his ads. The ads aren’t deceptive;
consumers who hire Miller know exactly what they’re getting, which is
more than can be said for many other types of law firm advertising.
Let the market decide the fate of Miller’s ad campaign (presumably, Miller will pull the ads if ineffective), not the bar.