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LegalMatch continues its changes

LegalMatch apparently continues to struggle from its founder’s legal woes and alleged high pressure sales practices that turned many lawyers off. Today LegalMatch announced a change in leadership naming Laurie Ziffrin, its current Vice President of Operations, as the company’s new CEO. Ziffrin was with Wal-Mart and SkillPath Seminars before LegalMatch.

LegalMatch was headed by its founder, Dmitri Shubov, until he was indicted last year by the US Attorney’s Office for hacking into the voicemail system of a competitor and deleting messages. That came at the same time LegalMatch was apparently turning off lawyers and some of its own sales people with overly aggressive sales practices.

Randy Wells has served as CEO until now. Unfortunately, the only first hand story I heard of recent sales tactics was not great. Lawyer gets call to pay $60,000 for 3 year deal with 10% off if pay up front and another 5% off if payment is wired that day. When lawyer asks for trial period and references from lawyers who have found success with LegalMatch, he gets call back that the company has found another lawyer to take the spot but the lawyer can pay $500 to be waitlisted. Lawyer asked sales person “do you think I just fell off the turnip truck?”

Idea of matching consumers with good lawyers via the Internet is an excellent one. Though I have never personally used LegalMatch’s solution, it seems like a good one. I just hope for the sake of consumers, lawyers and the legal profession in general the concept is marketed and sold properly.

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