Today we began advertising in Jamaica, as I mentioned in an earlier blog. The ad below will begin appearing in some of the newspapers in Jamaica, and a variation will appear on some of the billboards in Jamaica.
I have been a lawyer for 28 years. I have never advertised on television, radio, newspapers or billboards. We have relied on our reputation developed over the years and recommendations from one client we have helped to the next potential client who finds himself in a similar situation.
I have always viewed "billboard lawyers" with disdain. Florida is littered with huge billboards looming over the highways advertising lawyers with 1-800 I N J U R Y telephone numbers.
I do not think I have ever seen any of these "billboard lawyers" actually in the courthouse. Probably because they don’t really go to court or actually handle cases. Many of these lawyers take the calls from their 1-800 numbers and then refer the cases to other lawyers to handle. Lots of Americans point to the lawyer billboards as endemic of the so-called "litigation explosion" which many people think plagues the U.S.
Unlike the U.S., Jamaica has a culture where litigation is not encouraged. Plus there are virtually no Jamaican lawyers who advertise. Injured crewmembers are often from countries like Jamaica where few people file lawsuits, there is no legal advertising, and it is difficult to obtain basic information about your legal rights. Cruise lines often take advantage of this type of situation.
Over the next few months, Jamaicans will see our firm’s name and photos on billboards, in newspapers, and on the radio throughout the country. We know first hand that there are many Jamaican men and women who dedicated their careers to cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, only to be sent a one way ticket home and forgotten when they are seriously injured and can no longer work at sea. Advertising in Jamaica will help level the playing field against the cruise lines. We are educating these crewmembers regarding their right to obtain compensation here in Miami when they are disabled from cruise ship employment.
So, it is with mixed feelings that I am about to become a "billboard lawyer." But not just any "billboard lawyer." A Jamaican billboard lawyer.
But unlike U.S. billboard lawyers, you will see the lawyers in our firm in the courthouse here in Miami fighting for the rights of our clients who the cruise lines have abandoned in Jamaica.
June 28, 2011 Update: We modified our ad, with a non descript cruise ship and a different background.