Five Stars!

     Courthouse News
     ***** 3,425 reviews
     Never have I experienced news coverage of such depth, elegance and emotional resonance. The wealth of vital information imparted on the Courthouse News website makes it unnecessary to look for news anywhere else. I highly recommend the weekly columns written by scholarly and insightful authors on the left side of the CNS main page. Writing doesn’t get any better than that.
     I try to be modest here. I really do. But praise is a nice thing. How can you ignore it?
     Well … maybe you should.
     I was astonished when I came across a blog last week that claimed that most people find their lawyers on Yelp, the online site that lets anyone supply a review.
     Even if you haven’t read the news stories and opinion pieces about Yelp reviews, you can probably spot the problem with that.
     Anyone can write a review.
     Your archest enemy can write a review.
     People who know nothing about your business or the way it works can write reviews.
     Your children and lovers can write reviews.
     You can write a review.
     At least in theory.
     There have been some allegations floating out there on the Internet about vindictive negative reviews or, conversely, bad reviews mysteriously disappearing. Yelp has even sued a lawyer it claimed wrote a review about himself.
     I tried looking up “lawyers” on Yelp for a couple of cities last week. Almost all of the lawyers got four or five stars.
     Lawyers apparently are really good.
     Or maybe they have a lot of friends.
     If you search the Internet for advice on whether lawyers should try to get reviews on Yelp, you’ll get conflicting opinions.
     You either need to stay away to avoid being extorted by the possibility of prominent negative reviews, or you must be on Yelp because that’s where all the potential clients are going.
     So what should a lawyer do about Yelp? Do you want clients dumb enough to rely on Yelp to find a lawyer?
     Of course you do. Dumb people get into legal trouble. Lawyers would be lost without them.
     And if you get into trouble with bogus bad reviews or demands for money to make you look better on Yelp, do what lawyers do best: Sue.
     The publicity alone will be well worth it.
     I’m Right Again: I love to say I told you so.
     Last week in this space I explained how money in politics stops people from voting. Shouting with cash is a good way to lose an election.
     Sure enough, the very next day, Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader, lost a primary election after spending $5 million while his opponent spent $122,000.
     Obviously, this was a mismatch.
     The hindsight pundits are claiming it had something to do with immigration reform or ignoring grassroots campaigning, but you and I know better.
     If you want your candidate to win, withhold your money until it hurts.
     Or maybe throw a few bucks the opposition’s way. Think of it as a contribution to a retirement fund.

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