New York Personal Injury Law Blog » Attorney Ethics, FindLaw


January 22nd, 2010

FindLaw Uses Dead Child To Advertise Attorney Services

Demonstrating that, perhaps, there is no sewer deep enough for it to descend into, FindLaw has used the death of a child to promote the services of the lawyers that pay them fees.

On its Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog (coded as “nofollow” so that site doesn’t get Google juice) FindLaw‘s writer, Emily Grube, re-hashes the tragic accident of a nine-year old that was hit by a car while playing with its scooter. After the re-hash comes this deep-thinking analysis:

There are many difficult questions about this case: Was the driver aware that she hit White? Was she aware that he was under the car? Did she continue to drive in an attempt to flee the scene?

Truly profound. I know I feel more educated having read it. At the end of it comes the call-to-action: “If you have been involved in a similar situation such as a hit and run, or a pedestrian injury, you could discuss your possible personal injury case with…” blah, blah blah

The “blog” is one of the dreck-blogs that I wrote about previously (Are FindLaw’s “Blogs” Tainting Its Clients, Commentators and the Profession of Law?), that offer little content beyond repeating a local story, making damn sure the name of the victim is repeated in the event the victims (or their survivors) Google the event, and ends with a call-to-action. There is, of course, no comment area since discussion isn’t the point of the ad.

(If the name of the writer sound familiar, Ms. Grube also writes dreck-blogs for other FindLaw sites, having apparently left what little dignity she may have been born with in the dust.)

In my prior posting, FindLaw was using dead adults in its pseudo-blogs, which appear as little more than ads designed to chase clients. The extent to which such ad-blogs violate local ethics laws has yet to be explored by any ethics committee that I know of, though surely that day is coming soon.

So who sponsors this kind of crap? When you click their link, these are the firms I found at the top of the link, that would benefit from FindLaw‘s use of dead children in its ads:

The Law Offices of Eric Strand
West Chester, PA

Law Offices of Basil D. Beck, III
Norristown, PA

Law Offices of V. Erik Petersen
Harleysville, PA

Hark and Hark
Philadelphia, PA

Law Office of Henry S. Hilles, III
Norristown, PA

So long as lawyers continue to pay money to FindLaw for its services, this will no doubt continue. (See, FindLaw, How To Leave and Save Your Reputation.)

And the continued existence of such crap will continue to hurt the legal community and our clients, and make it even more difficult to find objective jurors.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that Mark Bennett had previously published a partial list of New York attorneys that were supporting this kind of conduct (Call This Notice). Yet FindLaw continues, and subjects more of their clients to being associated with its ugliness. So it appears that FindLaw doesn’t really care about the reputations of the very people that hire them. Considering that FindLaw is the agent of these firms, that’s important.

The only way for FindLaw‘s clients to preserve their reputations appears to be to ship out, because it doesn’t appear that FindLaw will shape up.

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