The Supreme Court of Texas has put attorneys in the crosshairs for making statements aimed at publicizing clients’ cases rather than advancing the claims solely through judicial proceedings. Despite the high court’s ruling, Texas lawyers still have plenty of options for maintaining their public profiles without commenting on the cases they are handling.
We all know those lawyers who seemingly turn up in every media report involving a legal issue. The “free” publicity these expert legal sources receive not only helps them build their public profiles but also enables them to grow their firms by staying top of mind and signing up new clients.
Television dramas such as “Law & Order,” “Bull” and “Suits” make it appear as though lawyers are constantly handling cases that end up on the evening news. But, in the real world, many of the cases you see in news reports got there because someone was thinking like a reporter.
Lawyers and law firms should look no further than today’s headlines for examples of what to and what not to do when it comes to effective public relations.
Recent breaking news about the potential union of Dallas’ Winstead and Atlanta-based Troutman Sanders is another example of how the media can quickly become a factor in private law firm mergers.
Leaders from Winstead and Troutman declined to confirm last week’s story from The Texas Lawbook about their reported plans for a national megafirm. If they combine, the new firm would include nearly 850 attorneys and annual revenues of more than $700 million.
This morning, we all woke up to two news stories that illustrate it’s never a bad time to remind our clients of the basic rules for dealing with the media.