Thursday, November 01, 2012
Lawyers Need to be Aware of Fake Reviews
I did an interview for the ABA Journal that was published in August 2012. See ABA Journal, August 2012 at pp. 24-25. The topic of interest was the discovery of several incidents of online reviews of lawyers and law firms purporting to have been written by clients. Random Google searches of firms revealed "five star" reviews of various law firms created by persons who claimed to be clients of the law firm. Contacting the reviewers for verification is not possible. Google has acknowledged that bogus reviews are a problem but Google does not create reviews. Lawyers who hire marketing firms to boost their image and ratings online must ensure that the consultant is not using improper or deceptive practices, including manufacturing fake reviews about the quality of the lawyer's services. In the interview, I advise that lawyers who advertise and use the Internet to marker their services have an ethical duty to periodically Google their name and see what's out there. Lawyers should be monitoring and policing what others say about them.