Metro Train Accident and Client Solicitation
In the wake of Continental Flight 3407 crashing near Buffalo, I tracked how a number of firms from around the nation were using Google ads to hustle clients (see here, here, here, and here). The point was to discuss New York’s attorney anti-solicitation rules and, to see if they were effective, compare them to local attorney advertising responses in two other disasters. The other disasters were the Staten Island Ferry crash in 2003 and the Metrolink train crash in Southern California in 2008.
So now we can add another disaster to the mix: The Washington City Paper reports that:
Lawyers Use Web Site, Google Ads to Find Metro Crash Victims (via Overlawyered). An individual named Jared Reagan started a website (metrotrainaccident.com) and then started hustling lawyers to advertise on it. There is no indication that Reagan is even an attorney.
So what does this mean? For those lawyers that retain Reagan to act as their agent to solicit via web sites, it means that those lawyers have outsourced their ethics to him. Let’s be clear about this equation:
outsourcing marketing = outsourcing ethics
Notably, the site itself does not list any New York lawyers, either because he hasn’t reached us with his own solicitations for his site yet, or because New York attorneys, under stricter ethics rules than those in other states, have learned to become wary of outsourcing their marketing such people. See: New York’s Anti-Solicitation Rule Allows For Ethics Laundering and Must Be Modified.
On a final note, New York’s ethics rules are currently being challenged in court. Oral argument was heard before the Second Circuit in January. Judge Sonia Sotomayor was on the panel. A decision is pending.
Links to this post:
Disbar the Connecticut 5
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