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Marketing Ethics

Lawyers Can Use Competitors’ Names to Advertise…But Should They?

April 24, 2015 by Carolyn Elefant

If you’re looking to steal a rival law firm’s Google Thunder, the coast is clear (except in North Carolina) opines Professor Eric Goldman in a soon-to-be-published SSRN article, Regulation of Lawyers’ Use of Competitive Keyword Advertising. Goldman explains that use of a competitor’s name as a keyword violates neither publicity rights nor trademark law, noting […]

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Ask An Ethics Question: Gift Cards

January 29, 2015 by Carolyn Elefant

Updated – 1/30/2015 A few days ago, a question appeared on the Solosez Listserve, inquiring whether a promotional strategy – whereby individuals referred to a firm by an existing client would be entered into a drawing for a gift card upon coming in for a free consultation – passed ethical muster. Happily, everyone who responded […]

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Is Your Law Firm or #AltLaw Violating the Lanham Act?

February 6, 2014 by Carolyn Elefant

I’ve often wondered whether a firm that lacked competency in certain practice areas could nonetheless, advertise these capabilities “on spec,” figuring that it could either refer the work out or hire a temporary lawyer to handle these matters if they came through the door. I’ve seen this tactic used occasionally by the #Altlaw law firms […]

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SpeakeasyMarketingInc.com – Not Illegal, but Potentially Unethical Lawyer Marketing

January 15, 2014 by Carolyn Elefant

Like many other bloggers, I too am a frequent recipient of offers of dubious gifts like guest posts, info-graphics or paid back-links. Usually, I simply hit delete. But this most recent proposal that came through my inbox merits a shout out because it involves a company called SpeakeasyMarketingInc.com that works for lawyers – and engages […]

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Lawyer Marketing and Ethics Meets the Real World

September 17, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

Be careful what you wish for.  Lawyers have long argued that law is a business, not a profession – and if these recent  events are any indication, lawyers may have gotten their wish. Only turns out, the real world has even less tolerance for deceptive marketing practice than ye old bar association. Gregory Turza, a […]

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A Lead Generating Website Gone Too Far

March 12, 2013 by Carolyn Elefant

Update, 3/12/13 (3 pm) Solosez member and contract lawyer Lisa Solomon posted about this on her Facebook page and Richard Komaiko, Attorney Fee’s founder is feeling the heat. The emerging dialogue should serve as a warning to future law-preneurs you don’t go beta when people’s careers and livelihood (even lawyers) are on the line. About […]

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Third Verse, Same as the First – Outsourcing Marketing = Outsourcing Ethics

February 8, 2012 by Carolyn Elefant

Eric Turkewitz said it first, years ago, and still, no one’s listening. Most recently, a fairly new South Carolina attorney disobeyed the legal profession’s equivalent of the law of gravity, outsourcing marketing = outsourcing ethics. And just as ignoring the gravity or pretending that it doesn’t exist will send anyone but a fantasy character tumbling, […]

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Just Because Lawyer Marketing Is Ethical Doesn’t Mean It’s EFFECTIVE!!!

August 28, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

It’s been stormy summer for Groupon, a daily deal website and once darling of Wall Street. Since June, Groupon’s web traffic tanked by 50 percent, its IPO is on the rocks and a judge just green-lighted a false advertising suit filed against the company.  Still, Groupon can celebrate one victory: a thumbs up from the […]

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ABA rules: No major ethics overhaul needed To address web marketing

August 12, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

The following is a guest post by Roy S. Ginsburg. In a draft proposal issued last month, the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 recommended no new restrictions relating to online marketing. The Commission did offer some useful guidance on how to interpret some web-based marketing tools within the context of existing ethics rules – guidance […]

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A Tentative Thumbs Up for LawyerUp

June 17, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

Update – 6/19/2011 – opposing views, end of post As proprietor of MyShingle, a hub for solo and small firm lawyers, I receive calls and emails every few days pitching the latest, greatest online marketing tools. When I don’t jump at the chance to hop into an affiliate relationship (which I don’t do ) or […]

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