My Shingle

Marketing Ethics

Website Dispute Brought to the Bar

January 5, 2007 by Carolyn Elefant

Let me make two things clear at the outset of this post.  First, Greg Siskind, who pioneered use of the internet for lawyer advertising and public education through his website, Visa Law is one of my heroes.  I remember visiting his website back in 1994 in the nascent days of the Internet and recognizing right […]

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Who Do These New York Bar Rules Target – Let’s Not Kid Ourselves

June 17, 2006 by Carolyn Elefant

I have to confess that when I initially heard about New York’s proposed gag rule on attorney advertising, I suspected that it was just another way to perpetuate the biglaw/smallfirm double standard by targeting forms of advertising like websites and weblogs that have proven especially beneficial for small law firms.  And indeed, Dennis Kennedy fears […]

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Watch What You Wish For…

March 6, 2006 by Carolyn Elefant

In response to posts criticizing the Nevada Bar’s heavy handed approach to an attorney who advertises himself as “The Heavy Hitter,” (see here, here and here), Jon Stein of The Practice blog endorses increased regulation.  Jon, who is a personal injury attorney himself believes that undignified advertising gives the professsion a black eye and hurts […]

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More Bar Silliness: Heavy Hitter is Misleading

March 3, 2006 by Carolyn Elefant

A Nevada attorney, Glen Lerner, is challenging an ethics decision that prohibits him from calling himself “The Heavy Hitter,” according to this article, Lawyer to Sue Over Heavy Hitter Name. What’s even sillier than the title “Heavy Hitter” is the bar’s reason for banning it:  the bar believes that Lerner’s use of the term is […]

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Why Are Attorneys Who Don’t Advertise Setting Rules for Those Who Do?

February 2, 2006 by Carolyn Elefant

This article, New York State Bar Urges Attorney Ad Guidelines (John Caher, NYLJ, 2/2/06) reports on the New York State Bar Association’s House of Delegates’ report calling on the Administrative Board of the Courts to create statewide, uniform screening protocols for advertising.  Curiously, the campaign to re-visit regulation of attorney ads is lead by biglaw […]

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Ohio Bar Won’t Allow Lawyers to Say They Offer Cut Rate Service

January 25, 2006 by Carolyn Elefant

Via this post from Allison Shields as LegalEase is a link to this ABA e-report article (1/20/06) on the Ohio Bar’s disiplinary board’s recent ruling that ocupons for free or discounted legal services violate the Ohio Code.  The board found that coupons characterize a lawyer’s legal services as “discount” and thus, run afoul of commentary […]

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Ethics in Chat Rooms

January 22, 2006 by Carolyn Elefant

Jon Stein posts a link to an article concerning the ethics of trolling for clients in online chat rooms under California law.  As you might expect, there are no clear cut answers; basically, you ability to ethically solicit clients in a chatroom depends upon the type of chatroom involved and whether participants have an expectation […]

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A Culture of Unethical Conduct

January 22, 2006 by Carolyn Elefant

This article, Did Barnes Firm Lawyer Tell the Whole Truth?, Michael Beebe, 1/22/06 reports on somewhat deceptive advertising by Thomas Goldstein, a lawyer with Cellino and Barnes, who advertised that he was uniquely qualified to handle Vioxx cases in light of his status as a former physician.  Trouble was, the ads didn’t explain why Goldstein […]

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Is A Civil Suit Preferable to Bar Regulation?

January 11, 2006 by Carolyn Elefant

This article from AP,  Lawyers Can Be Sued for False Advertising (1/11/06) reports on a recent ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court, holding that the state’s consumer protection act applies to lawyers.  Thus, plaintiffs can bring civil actions against attorneys for false or deceptive advertising. Frankly, I don’t have a problem with this ruling.  In […]

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Why Is A Law Firm of One Ever Misleading?

December 6, 2005 by Carolyn Elefant

Let me proclaim here and now, for the record, that I’m the founding partner in a law firm, The Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant.  Yes, it’s a law firm of one and I’m the only partner, but my firm is just as legitimate and real as any of these.  So why is it then, that […]

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