» Marketing » Have Desperate And Ethically Questionable But Possibly Jewish Lawyers Fight For Your Case Now!

Have Desperate And Ethically Questionable But Possibly Jewish Lawyers Fight For Your Case Now!

I often brag to my tech-savvy friends, “I have a Twitter.” I’m actually not kidding. It’s the place to find out what I have for dinner once or twice a year or to click through to my new blog posts if you don’t already know the URL or are unfamiliar with the antiquated concept of RSS.

Anyway, someone or something called @BernieSez followed me a little while back, and the notification included this description: “Take a picture of your traffic ticket and receive bids from lawyers to handle your case.” Curious in a train-wreck-watching sort of way, I clicked through and saw it was like a number of other ethically-questionable, lawyer-demeaning sites where the desperate among us spend money to bid on table scraps. It’s sad, but even though uploading your complaint adds a new dimension of privacy problems, it’s hardly news. Who cares about privacy these days anyway?

Browsing BernieSez’s mostly worthless, self-promotional Twitter profile, I did happen upon an amusing exchange that restored my faith in humanity a bit:

Regardless, even KingsMommy’s awesomeness didn’t quite make BernieSez blog-worthy. That didn’t happen until I mentioned BernieSez to another lawyer this past week. He was complaining about how he had a few appointed clients who just wouldn’t listen to him. They insisted that lawyers they found online told them their cases were great. He was eagerly awaiting substitutions of counsel with no luck.

While BernieSez didn’t particularly stand out to me in the festering cesspool that is internet marketing, the other lawyer was both astonished by how sleazy the concept was while also being somewhat offended by the execution. Why? From the fact it used the name “Bernie” despite not being founded or run by anyone with that name, which he felt was chosen to imply some sort of Jewish connection, to the logo, which he felt was chosen for the same reason, he thought it was preying on the bizarre but surprisingly common perception on the part of many defendants that Jewish lawyers have some sort of special powers. Looking at it from that perspective, he might be on to something.

Pretty much every person I know who takes appointed cases has at some point had a client talk about hiring a “Jew Lawyer.” That isn’t just the case here in Arizona, either. When I was doing a public defender clinic while still in law school, the guy running it, who is one of the best criminal defense lawyers I know and who also happens to be Jewish, noted how clients frequently think he has some sort of edge up on other lawyers. He even told me one private criminal defense firm made him an offer “to get a Jew on the letterhead.” I bet clients’ heads exploded when they invariably threatened to leave him for a “Jew Lawyer” only to find out he was one.

Anyway, as I realized BernieSez is not just a bad idea to begin with but also very likely designed to exploit a stereotype commonly believe by the people most likely to use it, I had to shake my head a little. Just when I think the things that lawyers do online to get business can’t get any worse, I run into something out there that can still surprise me.

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4 Responses to "Have Desperate And Ethically Questionable But Possibly Jewish Lawyers Fight For Your Case Now!"

  1. Matt: The truth is lots of folks initially react this way when they see a paradigm change right before their eyes, even when it’s something that ultimately is good for them. But take heart, I’m sure you’ll adapt to technology’s efficiencies in the legal marketplace in a while. Just like when you used the internet to shop for the first time on say, eBay. Perhaps you were one of the ones who first thought THAT was a “crazy” idea. You see, http://BernieSez.com is just what consumers have asked for, more, better, and more intelligent choice when it comes to selecting a lawyer. By placing the burden on the lawyers to “come to the clients” as it were, and “make the first move”, it focuses the existing market forces of price and service competition in the very same way that eBay, uship, travelocity and other such market-aggregating apps do. All of which sites, BTW, provide service and price advantages that far exceed the inefficient brick-and-mortar models that they -in many senses- “supplant”. So don’t be too critical or quick to judge, this change is going on everywhere, and most would agree, taking inefficiency out of a market has benefits on both sides of the equation. Happy Holidays! Terence PS: Not sure where you got the “Bernie is Jewish” bit. The site was actually inspired by a song that jazzers might know. “MY attorney Bernie” You could ask some of your friends at Berklee maybe?

  2. Jim Young says:

    The inspiration for our website name “BernieSez” came from a song called “My Attorney Bernie”. In that song there are some great lyrics like” Bernie says we sue, we sue…Bernie says we fold, we fold…” and so forth. Commentary about why we picked this name in lieu of traditional-sounding names is mentioned here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/whats-name-quite-bit-actually-james-young

    As for our site being some sort of horrible system for lawyers, it’s not. We are merely trying to replace traditional paper-based direct marketing with digital inbound marketing. This is nothing new. I’ll bet everyone reading this has either an iPhone or an Android phone in their pocket. In fact, lots of people that have used the system—lawyers included—have said nice things about it. You can read the Google reviews here: https://www.google.com/search?q=berniesez&oq=berniesez&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i60l5.1880j0j7&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=119&ie=UTF-8#safe=off&q=berniesez+raleigh&lrd=0x89ac5f7077b2976d:0xe269156eb0776544,1

  3. shg says:

    “Better Call Saul” was not chosen by accident. There is an historic basis for the bias, but it’s deep in the past. Time for all to wake up and realize that a good lawyer has no gender, color or religion, but a bit of innate intelligence, integrity and a very strong work ethic.

    1. Matt Brown says:

      That sounds way too complicated to gain widespread traction.

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