No, It’s Not “The Worst Lawyer Advertisement Ever”…But It’s Bad Enough

Medows site

A lawyer sent around an ad by a Brooklyn, NY., traffic ticket lawyer (that’s his website above) that read,

October 13th is National Herpes Awareness Day!

This is an opportunity to raise awareness around the causes, risks, and treatment of different types of herpes infections.

Question: What is the difference between your traffic ticket and herpes?

Answer: Your traffic ticket doesn’t have to affect you forever!
We here at the Law Office of James Medows would like to bring awareness to

National Herpes Awareness Day!

To celebrate this day, we are offering

$100 OFF your next traffic ticket.

Use Promo Code: Herpes100

Expiration: The sale ends 10/19/2021 and cannot be combined with any other promotions.

Call: 845 – TICKETS or 845-842-5387 now to redeem this offer!

The lawyer who sent the copy of the ad to ethics specialists asked, “Is this the worst lawyer advertisement ever?” The answer is easy: it’s not even close. Nor is the ad unethical under the legal ethics rules of any jurisdiction, including New York. Today IS National Herpes Awareness Day, so the ad isn’t misleading. Unethical lawyer ads are misleading ads. It’s certainly a tasteless ad, but the Old Guard in the legal profession believed all lawyer advertising was in bad taste. Bars know that punishing lawyers because their ad copy is obnoxious risks having the advertising ethics rules struck down as free speech violations.

It might even be an effective marketing ploy for the lawyer, encouraging reckless drivers to go to his website.

18 thoughts on “No, It’s Not “The Worst Lawyer Advertisement Ever”…But It’s Bad Enough

  1. “Your traffic ticket doesn’t have to affect you forever!”

    Okay, how can a traffic ticket affect you forever? The only one I can think of is DWI / DUI or whatever acronym currently in use. My last ticket was in 2006; however, I got a lot of tickets when I was younger and did more driving but I was never concerned about it affecting me forever. I always just sent in the ticket pleading guilty, received the fine in the mail, paid the fine and drove carefully the next 12 months (or so) until half the points fell off.

    $100 dollars off your next traffic ticket doesn’t sound like they’re talking about DWI. I know this isn’t the point of the post but this is what stands out for me. You save $100 on the ticket but how much is the attorney fee?

      • The first (of two) tickets I got, I decided to show up at court just to see how the thing worked. My attorney had a list of about 30 cases he was defending that day. He requested them to be dropped to the judge and most of them were – including mine. A few were offered deferrals and he took them. No officers contested the pleas, the judge did not deem any serious enough for a real follow-up. The guy probably pocketed about $4500 for less than two hours in court, plus whatever prep time he needed, which he can probably do with his eyes closed for most cases (mine was a speeding ticket for 55 in a 45 zone). Do that a couple of times a month and that easily covers rent for the office space and a bit more.

      • Absolutely. There are a few lawyers in Houston specializing in ticket defense. They charge the face value of the ticket. They also represent every frickin’ person who receives a traffic ticket. On any given day, they have 10 to 15 different clients, sometimes in numerous courts at the same time. So, they make big bucks on massive volume. And remember, traffic tickets are all about revenue generation.

        Case in point: I represented a client who got dangerous building violations because he was fighting with his insurance company about covering his fire damage claim. Sadly, his home was next to the homeowner association president’s house, who kept calling the police and buildings departments, complaining about this stupid house and its dangerous condition. Well, he asked me to handle the tickets, so off I went, to municipal court to work these things out. I talked to the prosecutor and we worked out a deal, dismissing 9 of the tickets and paying the minimum fine plus court costs (about $120 total).

        While I was working the prosecutor, I noticed a line had formed behind me. I finished my cases, turned around, and desperate looking fellow asked if I was a lawyer. I said I was and asked if he needed help. He did. He was a commercial truck driver and couldn’t afford a ticket on his driving record because his employer would fire him. We worked a deal, which made him happy and he gave me $500 cash. Then, the lady behind asked if I could help her. Man, I was on a roll! In about 20 minutes, I settled 6 people’s tickets and walked out with about $2500 in cold, hard cash in my pocket (which I dutifully reported to my wife [not to the IRS, though!], and gave it her!). Now, remember. That $2500 was pure profit. I had no office overhead, no rent, no malpractice insurance or employee costs and I was done before 10:00 a.m. It was a beautiful day!

        So, yeah, you can make a ton of money on ticket defense.


    • I’ve seen insurance rates jump because of traffic violations. The $200 for the attorney will pay themselves back in a year.

      There’s also the principle of having the government prove that there was a violation. If they don’t care about fighting FOR it, why should I make it easy on them?

        • My husband and I are still paying an “accident surcharge” on our auto insurance for having 2 claims within the same 12-month period on one of our vehicles, even though there was never a traffic ticket either time.  (The first time, we drove over a loose piece of tire tread lying on I-74 in Indiana, which took out our air conditioning in the middle of summer; the next time, poor visibility at an icy intersection in town caused a corner-on-corner collision with a vehicle approaching from the cross street.)  — Catherine McClarey

  2. Sharing this with my attorney husband and son. Some of their firm’s clients have been former clients of Illinois attorneys with ads almost as obnoxious as the one above!

  3. Good news. William Shatner did not die as a result of Jeff Bezos”s rocket blowing him up. Good. I hope when I’m Shatner’s age I look as alive as he is able to do. (Of course, I’m not an actor. Nor an irrepressible ham.)

      • As will I, I’m sure Shatner will take it. I suspect he also got a check. I doubt he does much of anything without getting an appearance fee. And a free meal or two.

        I remember seeing a poster for the Chenango County Fair in 1969 featuring an appearance by … William Shatner, then recently formerly of “Star Trek.” According to my professor friend and historian of American actors and actresses, prior to becoming Captain Kirk, Shatner was a well thought of, young Shakespearian actor.

          • He’s always been a smart, talented, gutsy actor. a close friend was the lat Christopher Plummer, who told a story about when Shatner was his understudy in a production of Hamlet. Plummer was ill, and Shatner took over for a week, getting rave reviews for the freshness of his interpretation. When Plummer returned, he asked Shatner what he had done that was deemed so inspired: “The SOB laughed and told me that he had taken meticulous notes on my performance, and just did the opposite of everything I did. ‘It was easy,’ Bill told me. ‘I sat if you stood, walked around if you were still, whispered where you shouted, talked quickly when you gave the line slowly. I barely had to think at all.’ And it worked…because he’s a great actor. And a sneaky one!”

            • Whatever Priceline paid for his work on their “Priceline Negotiator” commercials wasn’t enough. And Kaley Cuoco owes him a portion of every check she cashes. I should probably watch all his “Boston Legal” appearances. From the little I saw, he had the big firm swashbuckling, managing partner, fuck everybody (literally and figuratively) litigator thing down cold.

  4. “And remember, traffic tickets are all about revenue generation.”

    Sure. No one ever deserves to get a traffic ticket in the effort to ensure public safety and the orderly movement of vehicles and people on our streets and roads. It is all just a ploy to raise funds. It’s no problem if a motorist drives 55 mph through an active school zone, or goes more than 15 mph over the posted speed in a residential neighborhood. Those greedy cops! Let’s just repeal all the traffic laws. No one need be held accountable for improperly handling a vehicle weighing a couple of tons and capable of 100+ mph speeds. What could go wrong?

    Seriously, in my former agency, only 15% of all violators stopped actually received a citation to court, rather than a verbal warning or warning citation. No anticipated revenue from traffic fines was ever part of our budget calculus. Enforcement is merely one of the “Three Es” of traffic safety (the other two being Engineering and Education). We targeted “crash prone” areas and high complaint areas for most of our traffic enforcement efforts. If someone received a ticket from one of our guys, I am 99.9% sure they earned it.

    • Well, sure, enforcing traffic laws is a social imperative. But, having watched enough traffic ticket dockets, where there are hundreds of tickets at any given time, it is apparent that the fines and other charges generate a whole lot of money for the enforcing governments.


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