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LegalMatch Apologizes?

Matt Homman reports over at the [non]billable hour that LegalMatch apologizes for some heavy handed sales practices Matt and other lawyers experienced in dealing with LegalMatch. The apology came in the form of a letter from the CEO of LegalMatch to “Our Colleagues in the Legal Community,” which Matt posted to his well read blog.

LegalMatch is running a service to match people needing legal services and lawyers. It’s not a service selling used widgets. When Boeing’s former CFO was indicted and now has plead guilty to violations of federal law they did not bring him back in as a consultant. Why should lawyers expect anything less in a business that has ethics at its very base?

Matt Homman has been critical of LegalMatch in his blog. Anyone doing a search for LegalMatch on Google will find as number six Matt’s post Why I’ll never use LegalMatch. LegalMatch knows that post hurts their sales big time. So according to Matt’s blog, LegalMatch picked up the tab for Matt’s trip to New York City to meet with them at LegalTech, have dinner and some social conversation. The outcome is this letter of apology on Matt’s blog.

To his credit, Matt does not say whether he believes LegalMatch has changed its practices or not. But Matt, if you are going to post this letter of apology on your blog, which LegalMatch wants on your blog to soften the damage being done by your prior posts, don’t you have to ask “What is the status of the indictment?”, “Why is the former indicted CEO being brought in as a consultant?” and “If there has not been a clear exoneration of the former CEO, how can he serve a company whose very product gets into the essence of clients and lawyers?”

LegalMatch still bothers me a bit. Their prior CEO Dmitry Shuboy was indicted by the US Attorney’s Office for breaking into the voicemail system of a competitor of LegalMatch. It’s amazing in this letter of apology that the current head of Legal Match says that though the prior CEO must divest his majority stake in LegalMatch, the company is going to turn around and hire him as a consultant. The letter of apology does not mention the indictment or the outcome of the criminal case.

Don’t know about you guys, but if the head of any law firm I was associated with was indicted for violation of federal laws, I would not bring him in to consult with my law firm afterwards. A good law firm looking to be looked at by customers as being an ethical and a stand-up firm would fire the guy and never allow him within a 100 miles of the place. If the firm did not, I would question what they would do ethically in other situations.

Legalmatch update, 7/01/05: Change in CEO may signal continuing struggles.

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