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YouLaw: Do You Want Fries With Your Lawsuit?

By Gerry Oginski | Monday, June 29, 2009

Watch the Video

TechnoScore: 2.5
1 = Lowest Possible Score; 5 = Highest Possible Score

Ron Kramer of The Kramer Law Group in Utah creates an "out-of-the-box" way to teach us about the time limit to bring a lawsuit for personal injury in Utah.

The setting is the front seat of an attorney's car. The camera is somehow placed on the dashboard. Kramer appears to be parked somewhere and has a few minutes to spare; hence the quick and dirty video about the time limit to bring a personal injury or medical malpractice lawsuit in Utah. However, 37 seconds into the video we are rudely interrupted by a tinny sounding voice saying "Thank you for choosing (something I can't hear) can I help you?" The attorney says to the camera "Umm one second," then proceeds to turn and lean out his open window and give this woman his order: "Can I get a large 32 oz Dr. Pepper please?"


We now realize that he is in a drive-through line at a fast food restaurant. The attorney finishes placing his order, then turns back to the camera on the dashboard, and continues as if nothing has happened. "As I was saying …"

What was that about? Has he heard of video editing? You would think that he would have edited the entire "Can I help you?" sequence. But alas, no. This is akin to being on the telephone with someone when call waiting alerts you. Instead of ignoring the intrusion, you tell the person you're talking to that there's somebody else more important on the phone on call waiting and that you have to take their call. That's what I felt like while he was ordering his thirst-quenching diet Dr. Pepper.

I'm all for thinking outside the box and coming up with new ways to get your message across. In fact I contemplated creating a couple of quick and dirty video tips myself while vacationing on the beach in Naples, Florida. Thankfully, I didn't. The fact that Kramer left this sequence in tells me that he did not want to spend the time to properly edit this video. It sends a bad message to potential clients looking for answers.

In fact, in another video of his, Kramer explains that he doesn't edit his videos so that what you see is what you get. But you don't have to engage in life casting to provide an accurate portrait of yourself and your legal knowledge.

Tip #1: Watch Your Video Before Uploading It

If you're going to find a new and creative way and location to create your video, make sure you watch the video in its entirety first before automatically uploading it to YouTube and to video sharing sites. Some Web-oriented video cameras upload directly to YouTube. I suspect that's what this attorney did instead of taking the time to put it on his computer and edit it first.

Tip #2: Choose Your Video Location Carefully

Casual versus formal attire. You must make your own decision as to whether your potential clients will feel comfortable if you are casually dressed in an unconventional setting. Remember the public has a general perception of how attorneys should look and what their offices should look like. Some people may be turned off by the casual dress of this attorney and may not appreciate the unconventional location of being in the front seat of the car.

During the entire video, I was constantly looking out the car's back window and out of the passenger window to see if somebody would jump up and say something hilarious just to break the monotony. Unfortunately, a clown with a red nose never appeared. The problem with creating a video in an unconventional setting, is that the viewer is typically looking for something unusual to happen. If their attention is diverted even slightly away from the message you are trying to get across, you lose them.

Tip #3: Introduce Yourself

Come on now. You're going into someone's home. You're invading their private time and personal space. At least have the decency to introduce yourself. Don't you introduce yourself when you meet someone new? The same etiquette applies in a video.


Want to try something new? Great. Want to get your video uploaded quickly? Great. Want to provide useful information for your viewers? Excellent. Want to waste your time? If you're creating a video, spend a few more minutes to edit it to produce a great video instead of one sprinkled with distractions.

I want to thank Seattle personal injury Attorney Chris Davis for pointing me to this video.

Till next time, see you on video!

The Back Bench

Certified Family Law Specialist and online video producer Kelly Chang Rickert says: "Atrocious video! The only part I remember about this video is Mr. Kramer going through the drive-through to order his food. His knowledge of the law (and statutes of limitations) is completely erased and replaced with his completely unprofessional demeanor throughout this video. We all judge a book by its cover; and I am going to pass on his drive-through attitude and services."

Lawyer, journalist, and legal media consultant Robert Ambrogi says: "The only kind thing I can say about this video is that the lawyer had the good sense to take it down. Perhaps if he made a better video, he could then afford a better office than his car and spring for a sit-down lunch."

TechnoLawyer publisher and online video producer Neil Squillante says: "I couldn't help but think of Jeff Spicoli ordering a pizza in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. A simple edit and we would have never known he was waiting to order at a drive-through. Instead, he seems inconsiderate. Besides, real lawyers don't drink Diet Dr. Pepper."

About YouLaw
YouTube offers law firms a free advertising platform with tens of millions of potential clients. But a poor video can hurt more than help. In this column, lawyer and online video expert Gerry Oginski reviews and rates the latest law firm videos. A panel of fellow experts (The Back Bench) add to Gerry's reviews with pithy remarks. We link to each new YouLaw column and all other noteworthy law firm marketing articles in our weekly BlawgWorld newsletter, which is free. Please subscribe now.

About Gerry Oginski
New York trial lawyer Gerry Oginski has created more than 150 informational online videos for his medical malpractice and personal injury practice. Realizing that most video producers don't have a deep understanding of the practice of law and what potential clients look for, Gerry launched The Lawyers' Video Studio, which provides free tutorials and video production services. If you need help producing a video, please contact Gerry now.

Contact Gerry:
T: (516) 487-8207

Topics: Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | Videos | YouLaw
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