Saturday, January 23, 2010

Solicitation on the internet: using fake blogs to make search engines help lawyers who want to solicit clients

A few years ago, attorney Eric Turkewitz, the host of the very good New York Personal Injury Blog, commented on the practice of using blogs as a new for of solicitation. He noted how some lawyers placed the names of accident victims in the subject heading of their otherwise legitimate blogs in the hopes they would find the posts and hire them, for example. In that post, he discussed whether that practice was ethical. Take a look at that original comment by going here.

More recently, Turkewitz has written a new series of comments on websites that have created totally fake blogs that are really just a front to divert people to websites of lawfirms that pay for that service. They do it, as Turkewitz explains, "by simply regurgitating local accident or arrest stories and placing a call-to-action link at the bottom. Posts are filled with buzzwords to game Google that, if coupled with the call-to-action for a recent event, places them firmly in the camp of Solicitation . . . " "FindLaw" is the best example and Turkewitz comments on it and how it functions are very informative. His conclusion: "FindLaw is now tainting their clients, diminishing the stature of their vaunted professor-commentators, and lowering the level of discourse in the legal profession as a whole." Two of his recent posts are available here and here (and they both have more links to more posts and information.)

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