Jump to content
DABMAN

Personal injury ads

Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

I watch cp24 a lot and I feel like I'm always flooded with personal injury ads (Diamond and Diamond, Kotak, Sokoloff etc etc etc etc). Why arent there more tv ads for other fields of law? Do personal injury firms get most of their clients through tv ads whereas perhaps other fields of law get most of their clients through referrals or something? Or perhaps personal injury firms are just simply the ones who can afford the expensive (I assume) ad time? Sorry just a random question that's been on my mind. 

 

Thanks, 

 

Dabman

 

Edited by DABMAN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 A few of thoughts:

(1) advertising in the legal world, especially on TV and billboards, was seen as taboo for a long time; I think it may have even been prohibited at one time. 

(2) although personal injury lawyers can make a lot of money, it's not because they make a lot of money that they advertise on TV.

(3) It's more to do with the model and how they get clients: get lots of files in the door, settle as many (and as fairly) as possible, and take the contingency fee. It's largely a volume game for many firms. Often, they are targeting people who have never interacted with a lawyer, or who may not be aware of their rights after an accident, and a good way to contact those people is day time TV.  They are also competing against many other PI firms who can offer substantially the same service. Those same market forces aren't at work for a tax partner on Bay. The tax partner on Bay  isn't going to go on day time TV and say: " Is your multi-national conglomerate plagued by transfer pricing issues? Contact me, today!" Her potential clients just aren't watching and she is probably in high demand relative to the number of lawyers who can provide the same service.

 

 

Edited by conge
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know for sure, but I have a few theories.

1.  PI firms typically live or die based on the volume of cases they receive.  It is generally rare for a successful PI practice to make money by litigating a few, super high value cases alone.  New cases are essential and the means to attract new cases on a mass scale is also essential.

2.  I think that you are generally less able to get repeat business in PI work.  Some clients DO get into other accidents and will retain the same firm again, but they generally will not ask you to do some wills/estates work or real estate conveyancing even if they are happy with the job you did on their MVA (as examples).  That loops back around to #1, above.

3.  The market is saturated with PI firms - having your name out there as a household brand is a good way to remain competitive and known.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

FYI there are also big/successful PI firms that do no advertising directly to clients. There are firms that strongly prefer referrals so they instead advertise to other lawyers - networking, ads in the Ontario Reports, etc.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertising such as what you are referring to was formerly forbidden (I believe until the 1980s or so. Perhaps @MOL can help us out with a contemporaneous account) and is still considered to be somewhat vulgar (slapping your face on advertisement media is the domain of the realtor, not the lawyer, in my elitist opinion).

But, yes, I think you are correct that some personal injury firms have as their business model mass advertising to attract unsophisticated clients on name-recognition alone. I suspect it also is thought to actually generate personal injury claims by having viewers consider seeking a lawyer for their issue when perhaps they otherwise would not have.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was highlighted by @conge but I suspect that a large part of why PI firms do so much TV/radio advertising is to cast the net as wide as possible. Those firms have massive advertising budgets, as their target audience is the population at large because almost anyone could be their client.

Our firm has never considered TV/radio advertising for a few reasons. It is expensive and probably not worth the conversion rate. Our target population is also considerably smaller, so our funds are better spent with SEO and Google Ad campaigns. If you Google, "I need a lawyer for X" or "how do I respond to Y", the goal is that our firm is one of the first few search results. We also put time/resources into professional development and conferences so that we get referrals from other lawyers and professionals who know about our practice areas.

It is also different for firms that don't work on contingencies. For us, it is more effective to direct our advertising to people who are already looking for our services but may not know about our firm specifically beforehand.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've always wondered why there isn't as much advertisement from Real estate firms, consider the business model is somewhat similar (volume driven). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Amorfati1 said:

I've always wondered why there isn't as much advertisement from Real estate firms, consider the business model is somewhat similar (volume driven). 

  • Real estate offers more opportunities for repeat business (if you build a relationship with a developers, realtors, etc.)
  • People price shop heavily for real estate lawyers - they google and call multiple firms for the best quote on a conveyance
  • People generally want to use a firm that's as close as possible to where they live
  • I think generally people go with whoever their realtor recommends

My firm's actively trying to grow its conveyancing practice in a certain geographic area - we're marketing largely towards realtors and advertising online through real estate listing sites.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both times I bought a condo I just asked my real estate agent who they would recommend. I needed a new one the second time because the first guy had been disbarred for mortgage fraud, so maybe not the best approach.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Jaggers said:

Both times I bought a condo I just asked my real estate agent who they would recommend. I needed a new one the second time because the first guy had been disbarred for mortgage fraud, so maybe not the best approach.

Was it this guy?

LSBC had to increase annual fees by $350 per lawyer to repay the people he defrauded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Mountebank said:

Advertising such as what you are referring to was formerly forbidden (I believe until the 1980s or so. Perhaps @MOL can help us out with a contemporaneous account) and is still considered to be somewhat vulgar (slapping your face on advertisement media is the domain of the realtor, not the lawyer, in my elitist opinion).

But, yes, I think you are correct that some personal injury firms have as their business model mass advertising to attract unsophisticated clients on name-recognition alone. I suspect it also is thought to actually generate personal injury claims by having viewers consider seeking a lawyer for their issue when perhaps they otherwise would not have.

Ontario changed the rules to permit advertising in the late 80's but I don't think it really picked up steam until the later part of the 90's and into the 2000's. The problem with it, at least from a PI perspective, is that you have to do a lot of sifting of the calls that come through. It can be done, it's just labour intensive. I'm assuming there's a positive cost benefit given that it exists and is done. 

Real Estate, at least home purchases, are tricky because for whatever reason it's a really price sensitive thing. People who are ok with dropping $1 million plus on a home, get all Scroogey over the legal fees to do the deal that will theoretically help protect the title of said $1 million plus home. When I see some of the lowballers, I wonder what searches they aren't doing or issues they aren't catching. I've done some real estate in my day and it's feel good law; people are typically excited and happy cause they are getting their home or if selling, getting $. But it's an area that catches a lot of practitioners out. There's a reason it generates so many E&O claims.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, canuckfanatic said:

Was it this guy?

LSBC had to increase annual fees by $350 per lawyer to repay the people he defrauded.

Noob question: is this what usually happens when a lawyer defrauds people?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Established family practices constantly get referrals from associates in other areas of law. There is also a lot of word-of-mouth referrals from former clients who were not terribly upset with the results they had received.

Advertising is almost unheard of in family law practice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, MOL said:

When I see some of the lowballers, I wonder what searches they aren't doing or issues they aren't catching.

From my limited experience, lowballers are cranking out a ton of conveyances and simply aren't looking at the files prior to the appointment with the clients. They're not taking the time to actually look at the charges on title, or double check the statement of adjustments, etc. They're probably also not being very thorough in explaining the documents and giving the clients the opportunity to verify the mortgage details, statement of adjustments, etc.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In Vancouver, there are definitely family law firms that advertise on radio/TV. One very successful family firm has a great line "call us before your spouse does".  We get most of our PI referrals from previous clients referring friends and health care professionals including MDs. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, canuckfanatic said:

From my limited experience, lowballers are cranking out a ton of conveyances and simply aren't looking at the files prior to the appointment with the clients. They're not taking the time to actually look at the charges on title, or double check the statement of adjustments, etc. They're probably also not being very thorough in explaining the documents and giving the clients the opportunity to verify the mortgage details, statement of adjustments, etc.

Not to derail the thread. But I cant resist sharing my own experience that is so similar to what @canuckfanatic describes.

When I bought my house we used a lawyer recommended by our real estate agent. He couldn't meet until a few days before closing. Thought nothing of it because, if there was anything important, he would have made time for a meeting well beforehand (or least that was my reasoning). When we met we found out there was a unique easement on the property (it was no big deal, which we appropriately reasoned at the time, but still...if it had been a big deal that would have been nice to know more then 2 days before), and a line I will never forget.

It went something along the lines of "I, Do Very Little Lawyer, have informed the client, in writing, that they should seek an alternative legal opinion about the contents herein and by signing this document they acknowledge this instruction and may do with it as they will"

I mean...come on dude! All worked out because it was a very simple transaction. But could have been a clusterfuck. Moreover, I was not price sensitive. I would rather have paid him good money to do a thorough job so things would be done properly. But in this case I think if I gave him any amount of money it wouldn't have mattered.

Edited by AllanRC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Real Estate is impossible. You either do a fantastic and thorough job start to finish and lots of people complain about your fees, or you run a lean/efficient practice and lots of people complain about not hearing from you, not being informed early enough, why didn't I get my reporting letter within a week, why didn't I get my keys until 4:30, etc.

There are ostensibly lots of mediocre to crummy RE lawyers because it's virtually impossible to strike the correct balance. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got a conveyancing file across my desk last night and thought I'd come back here and list the things that are wrong with it for @AllanRC @MOL. It's a sale of property from one corporation to another corporation.

  1. The buyer's lawyer's assistant signed the undertaking, not the lawyer
  2. They seller is a corporation but they attached an individual's statutory declaration of Canadian residence
  3. They failed to include a shareholders' resolution (since it's an asset sale by the corporation)
  4. They didn't catch that GST applies since a sale by a corporation - failed to include the buyer's GST certificate

I was warned when I received the file that the buyer's law firm is known for making mistakes and I had to be extra thorough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, lawstudent20202020 said:

Screen_Shot_2019-01-17_at_4.22.43_PM.jpg

LSBC rules seems to allow a lawyer to give or accept undertakings using their assistant, but it has to be disclosed who it is that's signing and what capacity they're acting in, and the supervising lawyer has to be identified:

Quote

Rule 6.1-3 (Delegation):

A lawyer must not permit a non-lawyer to:

(c) give or accept undertakings or accept trust conditions, except at the direction of and under the supervision of a lawyer responsible for the legal matter, providing that, in any communications, the fact that the person giving or accepting the undertaking or trust condition is a non-lawyer is disclosed, the capacity of the person is indicated and the lawyer who is responsible for the matter is identified;

Commentary: A lawyer is responsible for any undertaking given or accepted and any trust condition accepted by a non-lawyer acting under his or her supervision

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


  • Recent Posts

    • @ghoogle @Ewith017 Congratulations to both of you! I am beyond excited for you guys! I wrote the January LSAT so I am still waiting on my score to finalize my application. I took a huge chance this year but really want to get into the program, so will apply for future cycles if it does not work out this time. If you guys are comfortable, could you let me know what GPA and LSAT score you were accepted with + how you think you did on the other application components.   
    • just thought it might be helpful to have a thread started since UofC/UofA invites are going out today! what firms have people heard from?
    • Agree with artsydork.  Yield protection is not a thing at Canadian law schools. To speculate that that is a reason for someone not being admitted is not only silly and unhelpful, it's not factual. 
    • I actually JUST emailed Wanda about this, I'll let you know what she says! (I applied both regular and special circumstances, but only because I'm 31, and I feel like that's reflected in my resume and PS and doesn't require any additional documentation haha) EDIT: She wrote back and said don't worry about it

×
×
  • Create New...