The internet crawls with scam artists circulating myths, bogus horror stories, urban legends and snake oil sales pitches. I often use the Snopes website to verify or debunk any weird or cautionary emails I receive. According to a New York Times article about the Snopes founders, their fact-checking website gets around 8 million unique visitors per month. This time I didn’t need Snopes to verify the warning I received in a recent email. It came from our trustworthy IT consultant, Lee McAdory. Here’s what Lee wrote: Read more
Post Date: May 3, 2012
Cathy L. Ribble, ACP
A virtual paralegal relationship is not the solution for every solo or small firm attorney. After consulting with many prospective attorney-clients over the last 3 years, I’ve begun to recognize some repeating patterns. You may not be ready for a virtual paralegal relationship if several of these warning signs resonate: Read more
Post Date: May 1, 2012
I previously blogged about the results one lawyer obtained when he promoted his law practice using Groupon. That post generated a number of informative comments which I recommend reading. Before rushing off to get an advisory opinion on the permissibility of daily deal advertising in your state, however, make sure you understand how the process works. A daily deal is essentially “loss leader” advertising, the success of which depends on selling additional services at full price at some point.
What Services Fit a Daily Deal? Read more
Post Date: March 6, 2012
Last year St. Louis attorney Craig S. Redler garnered a lot more attention than he really wanted when he offered a discount coupon for a will and power of attorney through daily deal promoter Groupon. Groupon sends its members targeted advertising of daily virtual vouchers entitling the purchasers to products and services from local businesses at deep discounts through group purchasing. If a large enough group commits to purchase the coupon, the deal is on. Thus, the name Groupon. The company was founded in 2008 and its business took off so rapidly that it now has hundreds of copycat competitors. Some of the other big players in the daily deal market include Living Social, Google Offers and Amazon with its Gold Box Deals and Woot.
A Virtual Ethics Exam
Groupon grabbed headlines when it went public in 2011. Its CEO was interviewed on 60 Minutes even as I was writing this post. What focused the legal blog spotlight on Redler, however, was the question of whether advertising through Groupon could constitute fee splitting in violation of Rule 5.4(a) of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and most state ethics rules. Read more
Post Date: February 28, 2012