By Hon. (Ret.) Ken E. Adair
Run Classy Lawyer Ads
Video Transcribed: Hi, my name is Kenneth Adair, and I’m a people’s lawyer and I’m a retired judge, and I’m here to talk to you about civil voir dire. And one of the things that come up, it’s similar to the contingency fee issue. They’re related. And I tend to voir dire close together the voir dire on contingency fees. And then I’ll talk about lawyer advertising.
Now, lawyer advertising is the cause, at least in my opinion, of a lot of the preconceived notions that jury panels have about car wreck cases and civil lawsuits, personal injury cases. There are some lawyer ads that I like. I’ve actually called a lawyer friend of mine here in Tulsa that runs really classy ads that basically promote the need for justice.
They promote the difficulty that you have sometimes trying to trust that an insurance company is acting on your behalf when they’re not acting on your behalf. In fact, they would be violating their duty to their stockholders if they acted on your behalf. And I’m of course talking about the tortfeasor insurance, but these preconceived notions are fatal to justice in a civil case, in a personal injury case.
So I voir dire about lawyer advertising, what they think about lawyer advertising. And I do that because I don’t advertise and I’ve made it very clear that I will never be in a lawyer advertisement and will not be on TV.
And when I talk about lawyer advertisement, and what it makes them think about and, “Do you assume that every lawyer is just like those lawyers that you see on TV? Do you think maybe some of us are different than the ones you see on TV?”
And I ask them at the hand, have any of you ever seen me on a lawyer TV ad? And the answer is no, they haven’t. And I’m always like, “Okay, I just want to make sure because I’ve never been in a lawyer TV ad and I’m never going to be in a lawyer TV ad.”
I’m not knocking those that do it. That’s a business model for some. It’s not suitable for me. But voir dire about a lawyer advertisement on TV and ask them what they think about it. That will help flesh out some of the latent bias that you might be able to identify as we discussed earlier in some of my other videos. This is an important topic. I highly encourage you to voir dire about that.