Thursday, August 09, 2007

Travelers protects lawyers from Kathy Hiltons?

(click ad to read copy)
I am not a lawyer
, and know little about lawyering (except that one of their derogatory nicknames is "crows," which is quite harsh. the fake lawyer here looks a bit crowish, though.).
Anyway, I was hoping to get a counselor or two to tell me in the comments if this ad is effective to them.
The photo of Paris's mom holding Tinkerbell IV stopped me while paging through the magazine. But then, the copy left me wanting—it seems like Travelers isn't very comfortable in the "law space." The ad states that they have "lawyers who specialize in defending other lawyers." Wouldn't most medium+ firms already have such people on staff? I'm just curious—not looking to sue anybody specifically. update: Well except maybe Bill Bernbach (his estate) et al, for making it seem like advertising would be a "fun" field to work in.
(scanned from the August ABA Journal)
previously in law ads:
1. What, no sharks or leeches?
2. Law Firm issued Nitwit Writ.
3. Law firm puts potential client behind bars in ad.
4. One law firm says 'Zebras Bad.' Another, 'Zebras Good.'
related: Travelers' dated perception of computer geek.


Blogger Middle Name: Stanley said...

I'm pretty sure that most law firms have lawyers who specialize in defending other lawyers, so that those lawyers have more time to defend senior lawyers, and when the shit REALLY gets deep, they come together to form one giant Voltron lawyer.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TravAlers? McGarry would pay you a boat-load to work on Reebok right now.

9:59 AM  
Blogger copyranter said...

(sigh) THANK YOU ANON. ( I spelt it rite in the copee, poopyjerk)

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IAL ...

Regarding small-medium sized firms having lawyers that can work malpractice cases, I have no idea overall, but the ones I have dealt with usually don't have someone with the expertise to capably defend this kind of matter.

Many will try, and some get away with it, but it's really pounding a square peg in a round hole.

Overall, I think this ad is completely ineffective. I don't identify, at all, with the lawyer depicted. She's what people who don't know lawyers think lawyers are like, and it's kind of an annoying cliche.

Second, who has clients like that? (maybe lawyers doing marital work...) It's like the day dream of some guy unfamiliar with the legal field.

And to the extent that she may represent an attorney's clients, she looks like the exact kind of client-malpractice plaintiff that a small to medium sized firm would take their chances against. She doesn't look like somebody I'd be afraid of if she brought a malpractice claim. She'd probably hire a friend of a friend who does real estate law.

Third, this ad doesn't tell me anything useful. Lawyers know all about malpractice insurance. It would be odd if the insurance company didn't have lawyers on staff. The "60 years" doesn't do much to sway me either. So what?

Fourth, I have that issue of the ABA journal, and I don't remember seeing this ad.

In the very least, they should pick different models. Lighten up the lawyer, and pick some old Wall Street looking guy for the client (I'm thinking the "evil" banking guys in the WaMu (?) bank ads). Pick somebody who looks like they'd be smart enough to hire a high-powered malpractice firm and can afford it.

As for the copy, tell me success rates or something specific about why they're better. Not stuff I could have guessed or is irrelevant to making a decision.

10:49 AM  
Blogger ricpic said...

I think it's a pretty good ad. The photograph is arresting, or at least has human interest; and the two lines - Your client will sue anything that walks. Hey, wait -- you walk. - make you (okay, me) want to read on.

10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nifty incorporation of their tag ‘in-synch’ into the body copy too. Now, what the hell does it have to do with anything.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a straightforward explanation -- the ethical rules governing attorney conduct generally require that a law firm cannot represent a client if a lawyer in that firm is going to testify as a witness. So if a lawyer at the firm is getting sued, then the firm can't represent that lawyer -- no matter how big or small the firm is.

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If an attorney at the firm (allegedly) committed malpractice, it'll be the firm that gets sued - not the individual. It's permissible for the firm to represent itself...but it's also very stupid. So firms aren't really going to have attorneys on staff to represent them if they get tagged with a malpractice suit - they'll retain outside counsel.

As for the ad, having the lawyer look like a such a tight-assed shrew doesn't exactly win me over. And all that copy in small font is a waste. They would have had me with the "you walk" line and their contact info.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

uh. besides.. isn't the best defense against Kathy Hilton a crucifix or Holy Water or something?

and ditto Bloviatus on the horrifying lawyer. Maybe Kathy's just plotting a lipstick application assault.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are top notch firms that specialize in professional responsibility/malpractice defense. I would never use my malpractice insurance carrier as my defense counsel too. Their interest is in holding down costs (as they are paying for the defense), so they are not going to have the most cracker jack attorneys on retainer. Further, they'll probably look to settle as soon as possible, which may also keep their costs down, but may leave a black mark on my record as an attorney.

More importantly, **Travelers is an insurance company and not a law firm so they shouldn't suggest they are offering legal services to anyone.** Except in DC, all the other state bar professional responsibility rules that I am aware of prohibit lawyers from offering legal services to the public from any firm that is owned or co-owned by non-lawyers.

So it's interesting that Anon/IAL said that his/her issue of the journal didn't have the ad. I'll have to check my copy. I wonder if the ad is only running in copies sent to subscribers in jurisdictions where multi-disciplinary practice is allowed> The copy is ambiguous enough that they could claim they only meant that they had outside counsel for referral or under retainer. But I think they're walking a fine line such that is *sounds* like they are saying they have the lawyers on staff as employees.

OK, enough law weenie talk for now . . .

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The more relevant question is regarding the "lawyer" pictured in the ad: would you hit that?

8:36 AM  

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