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Marketing Ethics

Law Firm Wants Fans Badly Enough to Violate Facebook Rules

April 21, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

Don’t get me wrong, I love creative law firm marketing ideas – so much so, that I’ve collected a couple here and here. But I’m not amused when marketing initiatives violate rules – even when those rules seem stupid – because it suggests that the law firm didn’t engage in due diligence. Consider the case […]

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Lawyer Advertising: Louisiana State Regulations and the First Amendment

March 1, 2011 by Carolyn Elefant

The following is a guest post by Roy Ginsburg. In the famous 1977 Bates decision, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that lawyers have First Amendment rights, too; legal advertising is constitutionally protected commercial speech.  Prior to that, state’s ethics rules prohibited all advertising — and we never saw any of those amusing (and not so […]

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Yet Another Reason Not to Use Canned Content

August 25, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Courtesy of Professor Eric Goldman, here’s yet another reason to avoid canned content or ghostwritten materials in law firm newsletters, and by extension, blogs: it’s a sure-fire way to convert ordinary, First Amendment protected content into regulated advertising. Holtzman v. Turza (N.D. Ill. August 3, 2010) serves as a cautionary tale of what happens to […]

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Guest Post: State Bar Regulations on Lawyer Advertising

March 1, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

The following is a guest post by Kelly Spradley, VP of Marketing and Sales at Impirus Legal Websites. Florida is not looking too sunny for lawyers today. The Florida Bar recently announced that Florida attorneys must put website testimonials, laudatory statements, and past results behind a disclaimer page. Many Florida lawyers currently have testimonials directly cited on […]

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Are You Your Bloggers’ Keeper? Ethics Issues & and Lawyers’ Professional Obligations Related to Lawyers’ Marketing Non-Legal Services on Line: An Interview with Brian Tannebaum, Miami Florida Criminal Defense &

January 7, 2010 by Carolyn Elefant

Lately, the blogosphere has seemed like a dangerous place.  Scott Greenfield warned of a pscycho on Twitter who was originally retained by an attorney to conduct her online marketing campaign.   ERic Turkewitz alerts us to unseemly marketing tactics by Findlaw, like spamming blogs with comments and creating “shell” blogs designed to boost SEO and siphon […]

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Blogging: It’s a Matter of Trust

December 14, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

Call me old fashioned, but I believe that my word is my bond, something that you can trust.  My blog is comprised of many, many words, all of which form a trusted bond with my audience and other bloggers.   I worked hard to establish this trust and I take it seriously, as do most legitimate […]

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If Bloggers Must Disclose, Why Shouldn’t the Bar Associations?

July 5, 2009 by Carolyn Elefant

According to this CNET post of last month (and as you’ve probably already heard), the Federal Trade Commission is planning to adopt guidelines this summer which would require bloggers to disclose any freebies, payments or other financial benefits that they receive in return for promoting a product.  The proposed guidelines are available here.  Since I’ve always […]

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Should the Law Marketing Message Fit the Medium?

July 24, 2008 by Carolyn Elefant

Lawyers sell advice and legal services.  So should lawyer marketing focus on, or educate clients about what lawyers provide – or try to identify ways to get in front of prospective clients for any reason.  That’s the question that law marketer Russ Lawson considers in this post which discusses a  99 cent/gallon gas promotion by […]

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The Florida Bar won’t let lawyer promise to help you get rid of “that vermin you call a spouse”

March 27, 2007 by Carolyn Elefant

Ah, I suppose it was just a matter of time before the Florida Bar went after divorce lawyer Steven Miller, who ran these provocative ads that insult overpriced downtown lawyers and promise to help clients “rid themselves of that vermin [they] call a spouse.” According to this story (3/27/07), when Miller submitted his ad for […]

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Second Life for Marketing

March 9, 2007 by Carolyn Elefant

In this post at Legal Blogwatch, I highlighted this article, Fantasy Life, Real Law from the ABA Journal (March 2007) on how lawyers are using the virtual community Second Life.  While some lawyers have set up virtual offices on Second Life, others use the site to make connections with real world clients. As I wrote […]

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