By Hon. (Ret.) Ken E. Adair
Face It: Lawyer Advertising Can Be Fishy
Video Transcribed: There are a lot of elephants in the room when you’re in a jury trial, many elephants in the room. And the more that you can identify, and take care of, and discuss openly with a jury panel, the better off you’re going to be.
One of the biggest elephants in the room is lawyer advertising, and I talk about it some. I think some of it’s tasteful, some of it’s dignified, some of it is truthful. Some of it is outright obnoxious. It appears sometimes that these commercials are designed to inflict upon somebody sitting in the privacy of their home watching TV, that something happened in their life that 30 seconds ago they weren’t thinking about filing a lawsuit, and now they are because they saw a TV ad.
I’m not saying that’s reality, but that is the perception that is created by these commercials that are designed to grab attention. Like some of these other TV commercials for auto sales and things, that people may not need a new car, they’re thinking about getting a new car, but they’re not really serious. Now they want to go get a new car.
Well, lawyer advertising does that too. And when I stand in front of a jury, I want to let them know I’m not part of that crowd. People come to me because they’ve been referred to me or they’ve been referred to my firm. So talk about it, “What do you all think about lawyer advertising?”
And you will get chuckles, you’ll get laughs, people be shaking their head, like, “Are you kidding me?” And you’ll know where you stand, right? And you have to separate yourself from the crowd… That crowd, anyway, and let them know do what you think about it.
What do you think about these commercials that say, “Been in a wreck? Get a check.” And that leads into my contingency fee, voir dire. Talk to them about lawyer advertising because that’s an elephant in the room. That’s part of the paradigm that exists in a civil jury trial with a bunch of jurors in a panel.
They’ve all seen those commercials. Talk about it, ask the jurors, “What do you think about it?” Then ask them, “Have you ever seen me on a TV commercial?” The answer is no, you haven’t, and you never will. I hope this video has been at least a little useful to somebody. I appreciate you listening in. I look forward to talking to you again and thank you very much.