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Intentionally Terrible Attorney Advertising Is Definitely Now a Thing

By William Vogeler, Esq. | Last updated on

Now that the Super Bowl commercials are over, it's time to sit back and enjoy something almost as funny at one-tenth the production quality -- bad lawyer commercials!

Lawyer advertising is serious enough that the Professional Rules of Conduct address it in several places, including Rules 7.2 and 7.3. They basically tell lawyers what they can and cannot do to solicit business.

But there is no substantive, MCLE-like value to this piece on bad lawyer advertising. This is simply a diversion -- a commercial break in your work day -- and an opportunity for you to say yourself: "At least I'm not as bad as that guy."

There are so many bad lawyer ads, however, that it would take longer than Lady Gaga's Super Bowl performance to watch them all. To save you time, because that's what we bloggers do, here are just a few:

1. The Texas Law Hawk!

When you watch Bryan Wilson's commercials, you get the impression he's done this before -- even though he only recently started practicing law. It's not that his productions are so good, they're just good at being bad.

His most popular commercial has been viewed almost 2 million times on the internet. It features police administering a breathalyzer test to party-goers, when Wilson crashes through a wall and into the room on a motorcycle. He smashes the device, revealing its faulty functions, and declares: "That's why you don't blow!"

Wilson's advertising has won him notoriety from Above the Law, which has honored him two years in a row for proving to "the world that yes, lawyers can have a sense of humor."

2. Would You Hire Him?

Daniel Muessig hasn't reached the notoriety of The Texas Law Hawk, but his ad may make him notorious in Pennsylvania. One commercial shows a parade of "criminals" getting caught in the act of committing various crimes, including drug dealing, burglary and prostitution.

The offenders apparently get away with it because each one pauses during the action to turn to the camera and says: "Thanks, Dan." Muessig says he helps clients with a wide range of criminal problems because he understands them.

"I may have a law degree, but I think like a criminal," he claims.

Rather than write him up for questionable advertising, the ABA Journal gave him a nod for the performance.

3. Explosive Results

Larry Green, a Pittsburgh attorney, caught the attention of one critic. Mark Harris, who compiled a list of "20 awesomely bad lawyer commercials," posted three of Green's ads online. Like rubber-necking to look at a car crash, Harris couldn't help himself.

"Larry Green apparently spent his entire budget (say, $100) on a DVD box set of stock explosion and car wreck footage, and he's determined to use every last second of it," he says.

Now if only you could use stock cat videos in your lawyer advertising...

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