Well. It’s been a little busy this pre-holiday season as my department is deep in holiday cards, holiday gifts, budgets, business plans, oh my. But this little diddy of a headline caught my eye in today’s Los Angeles Daily Journal (our local legal rag) and I didn’t want to just add it to my “someday” pile for future blog posts:
Defendants sue law firm over ‘defamatory’ release
I don’t even have to quote the article for you to get the gist. Now, I’m not sure about you, but over the many years of my legal marketing career I have drafted, edited, and posted to my firm’s website a press release after a big win. Shockingly, reporters sometimes call us up after a big win, looking for that hook of a quote. Over the years I have even worked with a few attorneys who have given presentations, or written articles, in regards to a major case they litigated. The headline and subsequent article (fully locked down behind a very, very thick firewall that doesn’t even allow me to hyperlink over to the headline) has given me pause to ask myself:
- How am I presenting the firm in a press release?
- When I write a quote … I mean, quote an attorney, how accurate are those statements?
- Can every statement be “objectively verified”?
- Are statements being quoted directly from the complaint or decision?
- Is there any mudslinging going on, or is there a factual connection between the attorney’s statement and the lawsuit or decision?
When things are moving fast and furious, and we (legal marketers, attorneys, our PR teams) are trying to get our message out before Law360 scoops us, are we doing our jobs well and to the best of our ability? The world has gotten so much faster. Turn around times are insane. It used to be that the options were Fast, Good, or Cheap, but you could only pick two. No longer. You need to be fast, good, and accurate 100% of the time. Trying to get an attorney to pause before hitting that post or send button is tough. I’ve been there. But isn’t that part of the job?