“Legal Brand Marketing” Ethics FAIL

When she filled out a form on a website looking for a lawyer to defend her in a DWI case, do you think it occurred to Ms. Dilworth that the boneheads she was sending her information to would be forwarding it to a bunch of strangers, none of whom were bound by attorney-client privilege? 

Email from Legal Brand Marketing

I kid. Of course it didn’t occur to her (here’s the sort of form she filled out; it promises her “contact with multiple local DUI attorneys”).

Legal Brand Marketing Contact Form

Nor did it occur to her that “my alcohol level was three times the legal limit” is the sort of statement that a prosecutor, if he found it, would gleefully use in cross-examining her.

The problem with outsourcing your marketing to yahoos like Blake Knight, with their cavalier attitude toward things that should not have been revealed except under the protection of privilege (“Notes about your DUI”? STFU), should be self-evident. But this outfit has several otherwise-reputable DWI lawyers shilling for it.

If when you outsource your marketing you outsource your ethics, what is it that do you do when you put on your hotpants to market the marketers?

About Mark Bennett

Mark Bennett got his letter of marque from the Supreme Court of Texas in May 1995. He is famous for having no sense of humor when it comes to totalitarianism.
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3 Responses to “Legal Brand Marketing” Ethics FAIL

  1. Mark Draughn says:

    Steve Graham did a little test on these guys, and he didn’t like the result. Not only do they spam their mailing lists with this information, but in his state some criminal defense lawyers work part-time as prosecutors. Someone who fills out that form could literally be sending it to the guy trying to put them in jail.

  2. Peter Naus says:

    Forgive my stupidity (I’m an Aussie unfamiliar with the DUI laws in the States), but what’s the no-no about her admission? If she was tested, then the results stand for themselves, don’t they? Or was it possible for her to deny being intoxicated at all, implying that the test results were wrong, and so she could try to get off that way?

    I’m one of those dumb people who usually admits responsibility for doing silly things when I’m caught, which sometimes even works in my favour! I got let off a pretty serious drunk driving charge… the cops paid me a visit (after I got out of hospital after crashing my bike after a post-work party), and I think they were surprised to find a dirty, hairy biker offering them a cuppa tea, then admitting I’d had a few too many, and apologising for wrecking two ambulances (neither was my fault) and for taking so much of their time. I was way over the limit on the bloodtest, and they just screwed up the paperwork in front of me and told me to be more careful! So sometimes you don’t need a defender!

    Anyway, it’d be great if you could explain the girl’s mistake for me… Thanks!

    • Mark Bennett says:

      Peter,

      In the US, where DUI lawmaking is driven by MADD and policing is driven by overtime, it’s not likely that the cops would deliberately screw up your paperwork in front of you.

      Any admission potentially forestalls some defense. This one might make it more difficult for the defense to argue that the test results are wrong.

      The results do not stand for themselves—there are many possible challenges to breath test or blood test results. She wouldn’t have to deny being intoxicated at all; the government has to prove that she is, so it’s presumed that she denies it.

      MB

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