When I tell people around Columbia that I handle car accidents, they often ask, "Like those lawyers on TV?" When that question is asked I have to strike a balance between defending myself and complying with my ethical obligations. I never speak poorly of other accident attorneys, but I am honest about my firm philosophy, commitment to community safety, and frustration with the effect clownish ads have on our profession.
There was a time when the word "lawyer" inspired thoughts of Jefferson, Lincoln, and Clarence Darrow. One of my favorite books, "To Kill a Mockingbird," presents the idealized version of an attorney and the good he could do. In fact, I became a lawyer because many of the people I most respect throughout history were members of this profession.
These days, "lawyer" is almost a dirty word. Big business, along with their lobbyists and handfed politicians, have demonized injury lawyers and the people we represent. They tell you about hot coffee and frivolous lawsuits, but say nothing when it comes to the "caps on damages" that further victimize families.
Lobbyists are not the only ones to blame. Car accident attorneys who advertise on TV in Columbia could focus less on money, and more on the highest goal of our profession - justice. I don't have anything against a lawyer's First Amendment right to advertise, I simply choose a different avenue. Instead of slogans, I offer substance. Rather than cutting ads, I write books.
I don't think you should pick a car accident lawyer in Columbia based on a TV ad anymore than I think you should select a heartsurgeon based on a radio commercial. If you are in search of an attorney to help with an injury case, read this article, order my free books, or call and ask me what you should be looking for when it comes to picking the right person for your case.