By Kevin O'Keefe

Personal injury law firms troll for plaintiffs via pay per click ads

In an effort to sign new clients, Texas Attorney Charles Noteboom, pulled out his MasterCard and bought from Google AdSense any words that were likely to connect with sickened people and Peter Pan, peanut butter and salmonella.

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

I’m scared to death,’ Noteboom said of the charges he has run up so far. “He said MasterCard briefly declined his Google charges because of the unusual spending activity, which coincided with his purchase of Texas Rangers baseball season tickets. So far, Noteboom has spent more than $10,000 on Google ads.

Looks like Noteboom is a heck of a plaintiff’s trial lawyer, but can’t see where he’s handled food-borne illness cases before. Being a former plaintiff’s trial lawyer myself, I know a good trial lawyer is capable of working up and trying different types of cases. But I can’t help but feel this sort of advertising is the new ‘ads on the side of a bus’ or billboard advertising. Just a heck of a lot less expensive, thus the attraction for lawyers.

The end result though is articles like that in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram describing Noteboom’s conduct as “trolling the Internet for plaintiffs.” And that’s not good for the reputation of good lawyers, including Noteboom.

There are much more effective and tasteful ways to market on the Internet than being used here. It’s up to lawyers to learn about them for their own good and the good of the legal profession’s reputation.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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