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Are Texas Personal Injury Ads Causing Harm to Patients?

Doctors v. Lawyers

No, it's not a lawsuit or an Alien v. Predator movie.

It's a real-life drama unfolding in Texas, where personal injury attorney ads have prompted doctors to fight back. With a survey showing lawyers advertise there more than most places in the country, doctors have mounted their own public relations campaign. Their slogan:

"Don't let a lawyer be a doctor."

Conducted on behalf of the Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse, the survey found that more than eight in ten doctors believe the lawyer advertisements are leading patients to question their medications. Also, apparently one in three patients stop taking their medications and suffer the health consequences.

If you've ever sat down to a WordPress blog and started typing out your thoughts on tort reform, legal tech, or the trials of starting your own firm, you've probably wondered: At what point does my attorney blogging become advertising? Sure, you're not posting "10 Reasons to Hire Me Today -- Number 7 Will Shock You!" But you are, perhaps, subtly selling yourself, showing your personality, experience, insight. Does that mean your blog is subject to the same rules as, say, an actual commercial?

Not according to the State Bar of California. The bar association recently finalized a new ethics opinion that will allow lawyers to blog, outside their main law firm website, without having to worry about regulations on attorney advertising.

Prospective Clients Hang up When on Hold, Study Finds

'Thanks for calling. Please hold.'

Click.

That's what happens when you put a prospective client on hold for too long, according to a study by an audio-branding company. And lawyers are some of the worst call-holding offenders.

PH Media Group, which called 2,695 businesses across the country for the study, reports that law firms put their callers on hold for an average of 36.07 seconds--longer than the national average.

10 Do's and Don'ts for Lawyer Holiday Cards

Unless you are Martha Stewart, you know about as much about the etiquette of sending holiday cards as anybody. That's because everybody old enough to write their name and lick an envelope knows to send cards for those special days.

But how many lawyers know what cards to send and to whom? If you had to think about it, then you know what we're talking about. And that's why we're here to offer some do's and don'ts on sending holiday cards.

It's a good time to be a driver -- or a pedestrian. Our streets have become increasingly safe over the past decade, with traffic fatalities down 23 percent between 2006 and 2014 and injuries dropping 17 percent over the same period. These safety gains are expected to continue, even as Americans drive more total miles every year and despite an uptick in traffic fatalities last year.

This is good news for everyone on the road. But what does it mean for personal injury attorneys whose practices depend on motor vehicle accidents? A new whitepaper by FindLaw Lawyer Marketing has some insights.

Best Practices for Unbundled Legal Services

'Unbundling' means 'limited scope' means 'a la carte.' Somebody get a dictionary, please.

A la carte, from the French for "according to the menu," used to mean "separately priced items." As applied to legal services, it became "limited scope representation." Now the word for a la carte, or limited scope, is "unbundling."

It is not entirely new, having been offered by the American Bar Association years ago, but it is becoming more popular. That is, once you know what's on the menu and what to keep off the menu.

Tips for Including Wikipedia in Your Marketing Plan

Wikipedia is the largest online encyclopedia in the world, according to Wikipedia.

It may not be entirely true, but it is true enough for some judges to take judicial notice of the information it contains. And if it's good enough for court, it is probably good enough to be part of your marketing plan.

Word of mouth referrals remain essential to building a successful practice. But when potential clients are looking for a lawyer these days, they're doing more than just asking their family and friends.

They're turning to the internet -- and increasingly to social media. Today's clients aren't just googling "personal injury attorneys," they're looking to learn about you on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter as well. Here are some ideas to help you reach them, turning that virtual browsing into actual business.

We're in the midst of a freaking epistolary renaissance, and we largely have newsletters to thank. The electronic newsletter has been undergoing a rebirth over the past few years, with an ever growing number of informed, intelligent, and insightful newsletters ready to fill up your inbox.

Celebrities send out newsletters, newspapers have put a renewed focus on email, and bloggers and economists and politicians (and FindLaw!) all send their insights and updates straight to your email. Should your firm jump on board?

For today's lawyer, a strong social media presence is almost as much of a professional requirement as a website or working phone line. A majority of consumers now look to social media when deciding whether to hire an attorney, according to a new FindLaw survey. Fifty-four percent of consumers say that they would be likely to hire lawyers who are active on social media, while 40 percent said that they would be more likely to hire an attorney who can be found on social media.

So fire up your Facebook and hop back on to your Twitter account. If you want to be successful today, it helps to be savvy with social media.