Drama Driven Lawyer Advertising.

I was at a seminar recently, and one of the presenters was a business lawyer that likened plaintiff lawyers to a hungry lion and businesses to raw steaks.  If you turn on the television, you will see ad after ad of lawyers re-enacting car accidents, watch brightly colored numbers flash across the screen, and see loud, emphatic lawyers promising they will fight to get every dollar.  It’s gotten to the point that advertising for lawyers is louder and more dramatic than automobile commercials.  Fear and drama are powerful, and a lot of lawyers are using these emotions to get business owners concerned about litigation and disputes.  Drama aside, businesses should be concerned about complying with new laws and avoiding/resolving claims and disputes.

The goal of these advertisers is to get business owners worried, and motivate them to pick up the phone and call.  However, I don’t agree that it takes drama driven advertising to motivate business owners to seek to comply with the law, avoid disputes, and stay focused on opportunities and business.  We all know it is far cheaper and easier to take proactive steps to avoid disputes than it is to react to them down the road.  Trying to get the cow back in the barn takes more effort and resources than making sure the barn door is closed to begin with.

There are many areas business can benefit from experienced counsel.  For example, having good corporation formation documents and agreements can minimize or avoid disputes among owners/partners down the road.  Having well drafted contracts can minimize or avoid disputes with customers and vendors.  Having counsel review human resource (HR) policies, overtime, drug testing, and other internal business issues can also help to minimize or eliminate a lot of common disputes.  When disputes arise, good counsel can evaluate the merits of the dispute, evaluate the claimant’s best and worst possible day in court or arbitration, and assist business leaders in making good, informed decisions about how to defend or resolve the dispute.

Business leaders, in my opinion, do not need drama driven legal counsel.  There is enough drama involved with running a business.  Experienced, level-headed counsel used proactively can save business resources, money, and time.  Our firm’s goal is to get our clients back to business without the drama, and we take that goal seriously.

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