Two years ago on May 31, 2017, (my late parent’s anniversary date) I created and distributed the first article on my “truthinlawyeradvertising.com” blog.
It initially had no name but after one of Chattanooga’s biggest lawyer advertising firms complained about its existence and referred to it as a “silly blog” I adopted the term as the name of the publication. As I have stated on several occasions lawyer advertising was legalized in 1978 by the United States Supreme Court on a limited “non-deceptive basis under the public’s right to know.”
What was to be limited to uncontested divorces and adoption, simple personal bankruptcies, and name changes has now evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry that has drastically changed the publics access to the legal community and greatly increased the financial coffers of advertising agencies, newspapers, television, radio, cable, internet, etc.
At first most lawyers accepted the proposed limited access to the public and behind their backs made light of the advertising lawyers. However, as the advertisers pushed forward to expand the use of bolder and often exaggerated claims as to their legal accomplishments, credentials and other forms of deceptive advertising the competition for legal cases has exploded.
The vast majority of legal advertising solicitations are in the areas of class action lawsuits, personal injury, social security, bankruptcy, divorce and criminal law. Most of the so-called “silk stocking” law firms at first frowned upon the legal advertisers but many have now engaged in advertising that so far appears to be in compliance with the “non-deception” barrier established by Justice Blackmun in 1978.
So far the fifty states’ efforts to regulate and control the use of lawyer advertising have varied. Some have tried to strictly control the representations allowed in the field, while others have been more relaxed in their efforts.
The Silly Blog has tried to educate the public in order to assist them to make an educated decision in the selection of legal counsel. Our goal has been to assist the injured and wronged citizens to hire an attorney based on legitimate credentials, accomplishments and ethics. The use of paid actors, standing on a tractor trailer, settling cases below their actual value, gimmicks such as flying in a Superman cape, representing that they are qualified to try cases because they have settled but not tried cases for certain amounts, etc. may be entertaining but may be deceptive. The best advertisers may not be the best to handle your case.
Talk to several advertising and several non-advertising law firms before you make an employment decision. In none of the numerous articles have I asked anyone to send our law firm a case. We will stand on our reputation established over fifty-two years of trying cases in state and federal courts.
The Silly Blog will continue and its only request to celebrate its birthday is by having the reader forward it to at least 10 or more friends, clients or acquaintances with the request that they do the same.
I encourage you to buy local products and hire local, reputable attorneys!
IF YOU AGREE WITH THE CONTENT OF THE SILLY BLOG, PLEASE PASS ON TO OTHERS!