Obnoxious Attorney Slogans:

One Call For a Windfall
Quick Cash for Whiplash
Cash for your Crash
One Call That’s All

Whatever happened to slogans that I try to live by like: experience, integrity and personal service?

Don’t be fooled by the local add campaign in Spokane and around the country by personal injury attorneys saying “One Call That’s All.” That is a slogan – a slogan used and paid for by attorneys all across the country and one that really does not make sense. A far more appropriate slogan: “As many calls as it takes . . . .” It takes countless calls to investigate and resolve your case. If an attorney is paying for or selling rights to an advertising slogan – be careful. Such a firm may be more business focused (i.e., profit) than law focused (e.g., using the legal system to help people).

Spokane One Call That’s All Law Firm, Craig Swap and Associates, Called a “Modern Ambulance Chaser” by Inlander Magazine in Spokane, Washington.

The local magazine, The Inlander, recently ran an article on Modern Day Ambulance Chasers. The following is a link to the article.

http://www.inlander.com/spokane/crash-andgt-click-andgt-cash/Content?oid=2834087

Note that there are several issues raised in this article, including:

1) The ethics of One Call That’s All marketing methods,
2) Past legal malpractice by One Call That’s All in Spokane, caused by one law firm trying to handle too many clients, and,
3) Craig Swap, the owner, actually residing in Utah and assigning important responsibilities to local attorneys who, unfortunately in one case discussed in the article, caused a critical mistake on a case (failing to commence a lawsuit on time resulting in the case being thrown out of court).

As a consumer, please do the following when hiring an attorney:

1) Make sure that the lawyer you see in the advertisement or named in the law firm’s name is THE ATTORNEY Personally Assigned to your Spokane case. We see it all the time – law firms like One Call That’s All suggesting through advertisement that the featured lawyer, Craig Swap, for instance, will be the client’s assigned lawyer. The truth is, the lawyer you see in the advertisement will not likely be the one assigned to your Spokane case. Don’t settle for that! Attorney Pat Fannin, a local Spokane attorney with over 20 years of experience successfully resolving personal injury cases, will personally handle your case.

2) Make sure the lawyer is located in your community – Spokane. Why would you want a law firm from Utah or Seattle or California? Local Spokane attorneys like Pat Fannin are in the best position to know the value of local cases, local judges, local practices and to otherwise efficiently handle your case. Plus, the money earned by your attorney stays here in your community.

3) Make sure the lawyer you hire is not too overwhelmed by other cases – your case should be treated with the importance it deserves.

Legal Commentators Criticize “One Call That’s All” type law firms.

The following is an article by a former Georgia State Bar President:
http://www.atlantainjurylawblog.com/ethics/one-call-thats-all-personal-injury-settlement-mills-blasted-in-georgetown-journal-of-legal-ethics.html
Follow this link to an informative article by a Stanford University Legal Professor:
http://www.law.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/publication/259631/doc/slspublic/Engstrom.pdf

One Call That's Not AllIn summary, these articles discuss the realities of working with personal injury attorneys who handle a high volume of cases from constant advertising. My advice is to never select an attorney based on who has the catchiest slogan or who spends the most on advertising. Find an attorney who will give your case focused, individualized attention. Rarely will the attorney you see on television actually handle your case. In fact, do some investigation as to whether the attorney you see on television even lives in your state – he probably doesn’t. If you call the 1-800 number for one of the several law firms across the country using the “one call that’s all” slogan – ask the person who answers where you are calling.

Rarely will any attorney be your direct contact person. Why? Because these firms are primarily profit driven and having non-attorneys meet with you, sign you up as a client, work on and negotiate your case is cheaper. Cheaper means more profit for the attorney on the television – but not necessarily for you.

Balance Between Practicing Law and Running a Business

To survive, a successful law firm must be part business but they must be at least equal if not more law firm. The question you need answered from the attorney you retain is where do they draw the line between the two. If a personal injury law firm is focused too much on just practicing law, then the business cannot survive – unfortunately we need to earn a profit to exist. However, if a law firm is focused too much on business, then it is not accomplishing the very thing it is supposed to do – help people through the practice of law.

We work hard to balance law and business. We understand that it is imperative that we practice law – which means that an attorney with particularized skill and knowledge is directly involved in your case at all levels – from initial case screening and client meetings to personally conduction all settlement negotiations. This does not mean that we do not employee and rely on highly skilled and experienced paralegals – because we do. But the attorney and paralegal work together to treat each client and each client’s injury individually and provide them the best help we can commiserate with the practical operation of our law firm. Often, firms that rely on ultra-heavy advertisement to generate clients must act as a business first and a law firm second. They must generate constant, high dollar revenue to pay for their overhead and advertising. If you have a run of the mill injury of low dollar value, these firms can be helpful. If you have a serious injury – the type that requires more than one call – please call us.