When we wrote about Reince Priebus, a construction litigator with Michael Best & Friedrich who made our Rising Stars list in Wisconsin in 2009, we figured big things were in store for him. There were. Last week he was named the new chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), replacing Michael Steele. Preibus had previously served as the RNC's general counsel. The secret to all his productivity? "My IPhone and laptop. [They] get me through," he told us at the time. Read the rest of the article here.
We were stunned and deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Gregory Coleman of YetterColeman, who died in a plane crash Tuesday evening. Coleman, an appellate lawyer who graced the cover of the 2010 edition of Texas Super Lawyers, was known for many things in his remarkable career, including serving as the state's first solicitor general, clerking for Justice Clarence Thomas, making many successful appearances before the U.S. Supreme Court, and just being one of the nicest guys around. He certainly was to us. Our condolences to his family.
I appreciate the coverage that the NJBIZ gave our victory in the Opinion 39 case, Caped Crusaders of the Courts -- N.J. Judges lift ban on advertising 'Super Lawyer' (sic) status.
A federal suit challenging a number of Florida's lawyer advertising rules has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. For more information and a copy of the complaint, see: http://www.sunethics.com/news_item_14.htm.
Some lawyers don't like Super Lawyers. We get it. Some just don't like the attention; others find it "unseemly" to be chosen for a list labeled "Super". Still others just don't like the thought of being ranked at all. But more - perhaps many more -- are justifiably proud to be chosen to the Super Lawyers list. The otherwise snarky article by Karen Donovan that appeared last week in Conde Nast Portfolio quotes New York attorney Theodore V. Wells Jr. of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison:"I live in a world where we don't advertise, but I believe strongly that lawyers ought to be able to advertise and I think that the Super Lawyers publication is first-rate."
A Google News search reveals nearly 50 press releases in October alone referencing attorneys' rankings on the Super Lawyers list. Do the advertisements that accompany the lists work for lawyers? We have many willing to say so - visit www.superlawyers.com and refresh to see the testimonials on the lower right-hand side. The Portfolio writer offers, supposedly for shock value, the $20,000 price tag for a full-page advertising profile in the Super Lawyers supplement to the New York Times Magazine published on September 23. But she offers no perspective. Here is one: A recent issue of The Economist has a full-page, $64,000 ad for a prestigious national firm featuring a ferocious looking grizzly bear - and this ad is part of a much larger campaign. Is the price too much for a full page advertising profile in New York Super Lawyers? Well, 950,000 readers opened up the New York Times Magazine that Sunday morning. Considering that the Super Lawyers special section took up half the magazine, chances are good that these people saw it. We also sent New York Super Lawyers magazine to virtually every lawyer and judge in the New York metropolitan area -- more than 120,000 potential referral sources. And, we distributed the magazine nationwide to the in-house counsel of the Russell 3000 and to every ABA accredited law school library in the country.
Call that 1.7 million high-end consumers and potential referral sources. And what about the ads? If Portfolio's writer had taken a few seconds to thumb through the Super Lawyers publication, she would not have mistakenly concluded that the ads are a bunch of lawyers congratulating each other. They are, in fact, attorney and firm profiles that provide useful information about the lawyers: practice areas, past experience, accomplishments, past cases, transactions, preparatory background, philosophy regarding the practice, information about the firm and so forth - precisely the information consumers and referring attorneys need. Super Lawyers profile ads are certainly more informative than the firm's name on the side of a building, more relevant than a public television sponsorship, more client-friendly than an expensive glossy brochure, and less expensive than a flash-animated website. Firms who follow the advice of self-styled legal marketing gurus miss an opportunity to deliver a highly relevant, "scientific and objective" message to a lot of influential people: "Our lawyers are outstanding, and here's why."Let's be clear: Advertising in Super Lawyers is not the end-all of law firm marketing. But whether or not some lawyers like being ranked alongside others, Super Lawyers gets read -- by attorneys, judges and high-end consumers. And we know that often as not, the client chooses the attorney, not the firm. Since Super Lawyers highlights attorneys who are considered in the state's upper echelon, it merits a look as part of the mix.
The Committee on Attorney Advertising's Response to our Petition for Review of Opinion 39 was to have been filed and served on our New Jersey attorneys on Friday November 3rd. Late that afternoon, our attorneys received a phone call from the Attorney General's office advising that their Response was not ready and that they would be asking the Court for yet another extension of time. This will be the third time that the Attorney General has requested more time. Although our attorneys have extended the courtesy to the Attorney General's office by not opposing their prior two requests for more time, our attorneys are now prepared to oppose this request. We believe the issues raised in our Petition require the Court's immediate attention. We will therefore continue to do everything possible to impart to the Court the sense of urgency we feel about the damage that Opinion 39 has caused to members of the bar and to the consumers of legal services.
The New York Times weighed inthis morning on the New Jersey Committee on Attorney Advertising's ruling onSuper Lawyers (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/15/business/15legal.html?ref=business; registration required)). Have a look atit. Here's a few points we hope you'd note about it.