A blog by Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Brian Tannebaum. Commenting on criminal law issues of local and national interest.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Criminal Defense Blogger, 2010 Version

When I sat down here a few years ago, my goal was simple, to write my thoughts on criminal justice issues. I didn't know about links or how to post a video or SEO or anything else except that I could write something and it would be on the internet for others to read. I never advertised so I didn't know or think about whether writing here would cause a recently arrested individual to rush in to hire me. I did this for one silly reason - to write.

Now this Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer has seen a new form of criminal defense blogging. It seems someone out there is telling criminal defense lawyers to 1. write daily about a criminal case in their area, 2. link to their website every time the word criminal, defense, lawyer, name of the city, type of crime like murder, robbery, burglary, assault, battery, DUI, other traffic violations, code ordinance violations, probation violations, and any other criminal cases, criminal violations, criminal charges.

To you new bloggers out there, I have two questions:

1. Who is teaching you to do this? (you can respond anonymously)
2. Why are you doing this?

Brian Tannebaum is a criminal defense lawyer in Miami, Florida practicing in state and federal court, and the author of The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer.


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  1. I'm working with Justia to create a better blog platform (will be up in a few weeks), and they want me to write that way. They've got some good ideas but that one is lame.

  2. It's not lame, Brian. It's wrong. It's whorish. It's disgraceful. It is the way to tell the world that you have no business, no clients who come to you because of your skill at a lawyer, and that you are so desperate and will do anything to score a case, no matter how demeaning it is.

    I'm glad to hear you won't go along with Justia's suggestion, that you have more respect for yourself than that.

  3. Anonymous5:14 PM

    It is just advertising. If you are practicing law to make your living and not as the idealogical lawyer for a cause, what is the problem?

  4. What's "the problem?" If you're taking an oath as an officer of the court for the purpose of making money, nothing. Nothing at all. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Anonymous11:24 PM

    Seriously, people don't become private lawyers out of altruism or to seek "justice" while living in poverty. That is the role of the ACLU or public defenders. They do it because they can make more money doing private practice than by being a plumber, cab driver, firefighter, physician, accountant or even a judge (depending on how much judicial pay is). Perhaps they enjoy the job itself and consider law to be a stimulating challenge. The oath to serve as an officer of the court just means you swear to obey the (necessary) rules our legal system runs on, not that an attorney isn't participating in that system for the purpose to make a good living.

    Heck, if I had gone through law school (with the student loan debt that often carries) and had a specialized skill people need enough to pay a premium for, I might advertise and cash in on my degree and training. More likely though I would be an idealogical lawyer using my skills as a weapon for the Cause I support. If my cause doesn't have to pay a full fee, then it could devote resources to media outreach, lobbying and the like.

  6. Anonymous1:03 PM

    In ancient times, there used to a big yellow book that mysterious people would drop off on your doorstep once a year. People would keep this massive tome in a drawer near their telephone. Whenever you needed a plumber, dentist, lawyer or other service professional, you would look in that book and find them listed there. Sometimes with pretty ads that plumbers, dentists and lawyer would pay a lot of money to have included in that big book.

    Untold numbers of trees sacrificed their lives so that the millions of pages in these books could be printed. But then something incredible happened ... google was born.

    Now, you don't have to keep a gigantic book in your drawer anymore, you just type what you are looking for into google and .. whoosh! .. you have a list of plumbers, dentists, lawyers, or whatever else you need.

    How does google do it? Is it magic? .. slight of hand? .. divine intervention? No, it's done by robots. Yes, robots. They mindlessly crawl around the web and look for magic words that people like you and me use to find plumbers, dentists and lawyers.

    Being the smart service professionals that they are, plumbers, dentists and lawyers eventually got wise to these robots and started to load up webpages with those magic words so the robots (being the dumb automatons that they are)would be tricked into sending business their way.

    Because, even if you are the best plumber, dentist or lawyer in town, what good is it if nobody can find you?

    (PS - Your blog is great. Keep up the good work. Remember, SEO tricks are good at getting visitors to your page but the quality of the content that they find there is what will close the deal.)

  7. I look at it this way - I write a blog because it lets other lawyers get a peek behind the curtain. The dynamic office site ... not for that.

    So, I write - on my blog. A lot. About pharma cases, about tech, about my dog:

    I don't go crazy posting back to my firm site, because after about 4 years, my posts get to the top one way or the other.

    I think those who follow the linking back process will tire of that process, or get lost in the google results. It takes discipline, motivation, and will. It's drudgery, and I'm not for that.