Lawyers on TV
August 9, 2003 11:21 AM   Subscribe

The Indiana Supreme Court scolded personal injury law firm Keller & Keller for their television ads that "create an impression that the claims they handle are settled, not because of the specific facts or legal circumstances of the claims, but merely by the mention of the name of the respondents' firm to insurance companies." Interestingly a search for this turned up Network Affiliates Incorporated, a company that sells advertising to lawyers. Television ads are evidently not the best way to find competent legal council and are considered to be unethical in parts of Australia. (Just to provide four different points of view on this issue.)
posted by KirkJobSluder (13 comments total)
Just as a less formal adendum. According to a friend in the law business many of the claims made in personal injury advertisments are true, but not in a way that benefits their clients. According to this source these firms are well known by insurance companies as easy to settle with, pushing a quick resolution over the client's best interest in many cases. I don't know how true this is however.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:25 AM on August 9, 2003

YEAH! These ads are syndicated everywhere, and the local personal injury firm's name is overdubbed. My favorite was the one that ran here for Marks and Harrison. The junior counsel informs the senior partner (in the midst of eating a hoagie for lunch) that the plantiff is being represented by Marks and Harrison. He promptly chokes on his sandwich in a manner that is not exactly the visual gestalt you would want associated with your branding efforts.
posted by machaus at 11:38 AM on August 9, 2003

Robert Vaughn is watching his retirement income slip away.

Kirk, I think that the insurance agencies should definately help fund ads like this for lawyers who do settle quick and cheap.

How shocked can you be to find out that not every law firm is like A Civil Action's?
posted by Busithoth at 12:21 PM on August 9, 2003

Insurance companies vs. sleazy lawyers...

Who's side do you take in a war between different rat tribes?
posted by Space Coyote at 12:41 PM on August 9, 2003

From the article: When told it was Keller & Keller, an alarming metallic sound is heard and a suddenly concerned adjuster says, "Keller & Keller? Let's settle this one."

I lived in Indianapolis for several years, and I can attest that these ads were ubiquitous. However, it is difficult to convey the corniness of the "alarming metallic sound," which my wife and I came to refer to as the "Keller & Keller sound." To this day when someone says something in conversation that is jaw dropping, I can imagine a "Keller & Keller sound" punctuating the awkward silence that follows. For the record, the sound is best described as a "bong," but the editors at the Indianapolis Star apparently thought they should leave it at "alarming metallic sound."
posted by samuelad at 1:02 PM on August 9, 2003

The only thing worse with law firm ads is when they decide to get third rate sport stars do ads with lines like...

"I'm a famous football player, on the field teamwork is important, and so it is in lawyering, and Michaelson and Huppy know teamwork." Except the player usually has trouble reading the lines in any coherant fashion.
posted by drezdn at 1:13 PM on August 9, 2003

I'm waiting to hear about how Juan J. Dominguez gets plastered by an MTA bus on his way to work...
posted by salsamander at 5:33 PM on August 9, 2003

We have those ads here [Boston area] for "The Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone."

I thought of the "Mark E. Salomone" sound as more of a "clang" than a "bong," myself. I thought it was meant to be reminiscent of a prison door slamming.

My husband loves to do the Robert Vaughn voice when I'm sending work emails--"Tell them you. Mean. Business."
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:48 PM on August 9, 2003

i don't know Dale Sprik, i'm sure he's a fine personal injury lawyer and runs a top notch firm, but i crack the fuck up everytime i hear his ad on the radio:

"In the event you are injured, let Dale's Prick & Associates ensure your rights are protected!"
posted by quonsar at 4:24 AM on August 10, 2003

We have 'the meanest SOB in town here.
posted by jasonspaceman at 6:19 AM on August 10, 2003

Insurance Prick #2: "It's. Not. Possible." [grin]
Insurance Prick #1: "Oh, you have a lawyer. Sam... Bernstein."
Insurance Prick #2: "Nobody said we couldn't settle this one."

"It's. Not. Possible." is almost a macro in our household.

Insurance companies vs. sleazy lawyers...

Who's side do you take in a war between different rat tribes?

As JWZ said, "What's up next? Union Carbide vs. Philip Morris?"
posted by britain at 8:08 AM on August 10, 2003

It's sad that the courts have to get involved at all. The state bar associations should be reprimanding these guys for demeaning the entire profession.
posted by boltman at 9:21 AM on August 10, 2003

Who's side do you take in a war between different rat tribes?

Hey, don't insult rats.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:43 AM on August 10, 2003

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