I ran across this story while doing some research on disreputable attorneys who use misleading advertising to solicit clients. Back in 2003, the Indiana Supreme Court reprimanded two personal injury lawyers (and their law firm "Keller and Keller") for using misleading television ads that violated state ethics rules.
The TV ad depicts a conference room where actors portraying insurance adjusters are discussing a claim. An older man, the “senior adjuster,” asks a younger man, the “junior adjuster,” how the claim should be handled. The junior adjuster describes the claim as “…a large claim, serious auto accident” and suggests they try to deny and delay to see if the claimant will “crack.”
The senior adjuster then asks which lawyer represents the victim, whereupon the junior adjuster responds: “Keller & Keller.” A metallic sound effect follows and the senior adjuster, now looking concerned, states: “Keller & Keller? Let’s settle this one.” At this point in the advertisement, actor Robert Vaughn appears on screen and advises viewers, “[T]he insurance companies know the name Keller & Keller.”
Mr. Vaughn then invites individuals who have been injured in an auto accident to tell the insurance companies they “mean business” by calling Keller & Keller. Mr. Vaughn provides the lawyers’ telephone number, which also appears at the bottom of the screen.
The lawyers ran two other similar TV ads during this time. The Indiana Supreme Court ruled that the ads were deceptive and misleading, resulting in a formal admonishment and reprimand; the lawyers were ordered to pull the ads immediately.
Can you believe the measures that some attorneys will go to in an effort to get clients? This is one reason why I wrote my book, "The Ten Biggest Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Washington Accident Case." The book illustrates some of the more egregious cases involving outlandish and deceptive advertising claims made by some personal injury lawyers. Usually, it's these lawyers that have rarely, if ever, tried a personal injury case in court. My advice: Stay away.
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