How Content Marketing and SEO Overlap

Content marketing has seen a surge in popularity in recent years. This often prompts the tired old claim that SEO is dead of course. It isn’t, but it has had to adapt and evolve to suit the modern web just as other disciplines – such as web design – have had to. Now, good SEO is not just about link building, keywords and technical SEO, it’s about social, content and building relationships too.

Sourced through from:

Here is an interesting and informative article by an Aussie, about the interplay between content marketing and SEO. But the author, like most, fails to emphasize the niche factor.

In my law firm marketing book, I use the example of a random set of characters, such as jqa8t9q03u5134. If you create a site containing the keyword jqa8t9q03u5134, and someone searches for jqa8t9q03u5134, I guarantee your site will come up on the first page of Google for the keyword. Most likely, it will be the only site returned.

So what is the point of this story? Continue reading

Putting the “Alternative” Back in Alternative Dispute Resolution

business conflict resolution concept

A recent settlement victory showed me once again that you can achieve amazing results at a mediation if you never lose sight of the fact that you are unrestrained by any “negotiating rules”, even if (or perhaps especially because) no one else in the room understands that to be the case.

Most who attend a mediation have in their minds that meditations must go a certain way, completely forgetting the “Alternative” in “Alternative Dispute Resolution”. Use that to your advantage, and don’t be afraid to let your crazy out.

I’m reminded of the scene from Fort Apache the Bronx, with Paul Newman. Not the greatest movie, but in one memorable scene, a cop (played by Newman) is confronted by a knife-wielding crazy person. Continue reading

Best Client Call of the Week

Stressed businessman strangling himselfMany attorneys find it to be a quaint concept, or pretend not to understand, but at Morris & Stone we will only represent a client if we are on the right side, which we define as the party who should win if justice is done.

We learned long ago that the practice of law is far more enjoyable if you are fighting for justice, as opposed to being a partner in crime with a client who is attempting to avoid paying a valid debt, trying to prevent competition, or whatever.

So with that policy in mind, here is how the best client call of the week went:

“Ring ring.”

“Morris and Stone, this is Aaron Morris, how can I help you?”

(It’s a funny thing, but about half the time, if the person is calling to speak to me, they’ll respond, “is Aaron Morris available?” Many people just can’t engage their brains that quickly. But I digress.)

“Are you the defamation attorneys?”

“Yes, we handle defamation cases. What’s going on?”

“Well, do you represent plaintiffs or defendants?”

“We represent whoever is in the right; whoever deserves to win.”

“Oh, you won’t be able to help me then.”


It’s good to have a realistic sense of your case. Continue reading

Of course it’s a “self-serving declaration”! Why else would I file it?!

Frustrated Male Judge With Gavel And BookIf you lose a motion and rail against the stupidity of the judge, that’s just viewed as sour grapes. But today I was in court for a hearing, and it was the case BEFORE mine that raised my hackles, so I can rant with impunity. (And yes I won my motion, so this isn’t indirect sour grapes either.)

I mostly hear this refrain from opposing counsel, but judges sometimes make the same stupid remark. That remark is referring to a declaration as “self-serving”, and arguing that it should be disregarded on that basis. In reality, if you are filing declarations that aren’t self-serving, you are doing something horribly wrong.

Let me give you the facts of the case in question so you’ll see what I’m talking about. Continue reading

Judge resigns amid allegations she retaliated after rebuffed Facebook request, exhibited paranoia

A Florida judge has resigned before the resolution of ethics charges alleging she “repeatedly expressed paranoia” and exhibited “inexplicable” and “disruptive” behavior.

Judge Linda Schoonover of the Seminole-Brevard circuit court plans to retire Aug. 31,


The fascinating part of this tragic story is the Facebook incident.

The judge was presiding over a divorce action, and sent a Facebook friend request to the wife. The wife, understandably concerned that she would get a friend request from the judge on her case, asked her attorney what she should do. Her attorney advised her to ignore the friend request.

The judge was not pleased. She allegedly retaliated against the wife by ordering a very unfavorable, and inexplicable, division of the marital assets.

I’m reminded of that scene from Fatal Attraction, where the character played by Glenn Close says, “I will NOT be ignored,” before later boiling the bunny.

Be careful who you fail to friend.

See on Scoop.itCalifornia SLAPP Law

Best Client Call of the Week

Frustrated woman making a phone callMy websites all have contact forms, so that prospective clients can email me a question. The forms require that the prospective client provide an email address and/or a telephone number. How else would I contact them?

So, I received an email from a visitor to one of my websites (let’s call her Jane), and I promptly responded.

The next day, I received another email from the website from Jane, asking the same questions again. I responded again, apologizing that she had not received my earlier response.

On day three I received two emails from Jane, and they made clear that Jane was not pleased that I was ignoring her emails. Jane had never provided her telephone number, so I had no means to contact her other than through the email address she was providing each time. I was sure my email was probably ending up in her spam filter for whatever reason, but I responded each time.

Finally Jane called, and she was hopping mad that she had written me so many times and received no response. I explained that I had responded to every one of her emails, and read back her email address.

“Oh, that’s a fake email address. I always use that when I fill out contact forms. I don’t want to get spammed,” she said.

How to Write Like a Pro in a New Content Niche

Here’s how to pivot your style and approach to write informative, engaging content in a new niche – Content Marketing Institute.


I want to share this great, very detailed article on creating content for a niche. Although not specific to law firm marketing, the concepts are the same.

One thing you should be doing is to monitor the most popular articles on your own blogs, in order to provide more of that sort of content. In this article, you’ll learn how to do the same for other blogs, in order to increase your awareness even further.

If you want to take your firm to new levels with an effective content marketing plan, be sure to read my Niche Marketing Roadmap series.

See on Scoop.itLaw Firm Marketing

Best Client Call of the Week

angry callerA gentleman called about a case, wherein the amount in controversy was about $1,500 – a clear candidate for small claims court.

“Well, this isn’t a case I would be able to represent you on because it wouldn’t make economic sense to hire me for a $1,500 case, but I’m happy to give you my thoughts on how you could pursue this in small claims court,” I said.

We often get calls about cases that are best handled in small claims court, so I’ve created a web page that walks callers through the process of suing in that court. When I get these types of calls I’ll take a few minutes to give the caller some tips on how to calculate the damages and what evidence to present, and then I send them to the web page.

This caller was taking advantage of my kind nature, asking very specific questions about how “I” was going to handle the case; which witnesses I would call, which documents I would use. In each instance, I told him that “I” wasn’t going to handle the case, because the legal fees would far exceed the amount he was seeking to recover. In all, during the course of the conversation, I told him about six times that it would not be economically feasible to hire me to represent him given the amount in controversy.

He grew a bit curt when I repeated the refrain for the sixth time that I would not handle the case.

“Why do you keep saying that? Why wouldn’t it make economic sense?”, he asked.

“Because this is a case that should be pursued in small claims court, and individuals cannot be represented by an attorney in small claims court. For me to represent you, I’d have to file a full-blown action in the Superior Court, with written discovery, depositions, possible motions, etcetera,” I responded. “You avoid all that in small claims court. Also, there is no basis to recovery your attorney fees, so you’d be spending far more on me that you would be seeking to recover. It wouldn’t make sense to spend all that money on legal representation for $1,500!”

“But what if I wanted you to represent me? What would it cost?”

Well, I’m $495 an hour, and I require a $10,000 deposit to start.”

“Why the f**k would I pay you $10,000 to get $1,500! Are you out of your f**king mind?”


Using the Internet to Educate (and Intimidate) the Opposition

schoolI will say up front that I have no empirical data to show you regarding this strategy, but it came up in a case I just handled, and I wanted to share it with you. As I will discuss in a moment, on a number of occasions opposing counsel has quoted my articles back to me, so I know they are reading them, which leads me to believe this strategy could be very effective.

Here’s how it came about. I was representing a client who was being sued for allegedly failing to disclose a permitting issue with the house he had sold. The real estate broker was also a defendant, and she was represented by separate counsel. I won’t bore you with all the details of why the plaintiffs’ claims lacked merit, but suffice to say there would have been no problem if the plaintiffs had simply purchased the home and lived in it. They had the undisclosed intent to tear down the residence and develop two homes in its place, and it was only because of this drastic redevelopment plan that the alleged issue with the permit arose.

Plaintiffs’ Complaint contain two causes of action for fraud, and a third cause of action for negligent misrepresentation. Plaintiffs had also demanded a jury trial.

I had had no luck educating opposing counsel during the litigation process, but I was hopeful that with the reality of the trial, I might finally be able to get them to pay attention to the facts. I devoted significant time to the trial brief, which included numerous references to the deposition testimony of the plaintiffs and the exhibits. After reading my trial brief, I believe it finally became apparent to opposing counsel and/or his clients that they would never be able to prove the intentional misrepresentation. They not only dismissed the two causes of action for fraud before the trial commenced, they also waived jury trial.

Intimidating opposing counselThis brings us to the point of this article. Continue reading

Flat Fee Arrangements Promote a Winning Practice

The Practice of Law - Fee AgreementsFlat fee arrangements are amazingly liberating.

Most of my fellow litigators won’t take a case on a flat fee, either because they are concerned that they will grossly underestimate the time the case is going to take and end up with an effective hourly rate of $25, or simply because they think they’ll make more on a straight hourly basis.

I acknolwedge that some cases just do not lend themselves to a flat fee because of the unknown factors, but when you have a case with a reasonably predictable time factor, a flat fee is a fantastic way to go, not because it earns you more (although it can), but because it allows you to do more.

This may be counterintuitive to some, and probably blaphemous to attorneys that are only in it for the money, but I’m in it to win and a flat fee gives me greater freedom to do what I need to do to win.

Say you have a case that is crying out for a demurrer. On a straight hourly arrangement, your discussion with the client goes something like this:

You:  “I really think we should bring a demurrer. The third cause of action for breach of contract fails to allege performance, and here they really can’t honestly allege performance, so I think that will get rid of that cause of action.”

Client:  “So if you bring this motion the case is over?”

You:  “No, it will just get rid of that one cause of action if we prevail.”

Client:  “How much will the motion cost?”

You:  “With the motion, the reply and going to court, I can probably do it all in ten hours, so $4,500.”

Client: “So I pay you $4,500 and the motion may not work and even if it does it doesn’t end the action it just gets rid of one cause of action?”

And what the client is thinking is: “Damn attorneys, he’s just trying to run up the bill.”

With a flat fee, all those conversations are eliminated. If I think a demurrer is needed, I bring it. If I think more discovery is needed, I propound it.

And this isn’t pure altruism. Yes, I do this to win, but being free to do everything I want to do on a case may allow me to prevail on the action much more quickly, making the flat fee a winning bet for me financially.

A few tips for flat fees: Continue reading