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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

April 18, 2004

Cease and Desist . . and Step on It!

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 8:15 pm

Each of the personalities at this weblog sends his sincere thanks to Judges Sam Sparks and Lee Yeakel of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division, for cracking down on irresponsible dog owners who “failed to live up to their representations and legal obligation to remove their pets’ deposits.”  (, “Judges fed up with dogs that violate courthouse lawn,” 04-17-04, and AP/Houston Chronicle, 04-16-04).  And, we don’t care if “the courthouse grounds has one of the few patches of grass anywhere in the downtown area.” (Fox7, Austin, TX)

  • dog black  Just yesterday, haikuEsq was sitting in his backyard along the Mohawk River waiting for an inspiration (while ethicalEsq was taking a break from worrying about ghost-writers), when a serial-offending neighbor brought her dachshund to said lawn, let it relieve itself, and walked away without scooping — totally aware that she was being observed from just a few feet away by someone who actually had the right to be in that yard.  Prof. Yabut, who often finds himself “stepping in it”, is outraged.  None of “us” has had a haiku moment since then.

Postrel Goes to the Mattress on Fraudulent WebAds

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 12:03 pm

Virginia Postrel isn’t too happy with some of the ads showing up on her weblog, and she shares her Google Ad Secrets for attracting fraudulent term paper ads, or term life insurance solicitations, in a posting dated 04-05-04.  A single mention of people selling term papers brought the unwanted ads to her website.   

Here’s her explanation of the “mattress store principle”:

Most of the time a mattress store has no customers, but nearly every customer who comes in buys a mattress. The same is generally true of term life insurance and probably of fraudulent term papers

sleep sign neg  You can’t say we were asleep on this issue here at e&hEsq.  In January, we reported that folks responding to our December survey on the ethics of content-targeted ads felt such ads were too tacky and “too likely to hawk the services of competitors and/or unsavory types” for weblogging lawyers like themselves to use them.

Here’s how we summarized our qualms about the ethics of lawyers using content-targeted web ads:

We ethical worryworts still fret that visitors to a website/weblog might conclude that the lawyer was associated with the advertiser or was endorsing the product.  If being an “ethical lawyer” requires more than saying “I won’t be disciplined for this” [or, “it’s not a felony”], a lawyer using such ads should — at the least — check regularly to see what is being offered in the targetted ads and by whom; and arrange to filter out inappropriate advertisers.  Otherwise, the lawyer is profiting from the deception or fraud — offering a platform for the ads and then turning a blind eye to their content in order to make a few dollars.

John Palfrey noted on April 15, that Kevin O’Keefe is asking whether lawyers should be running ads on their weblogs.  Kevin says:

“[A]dvertising on your blog diminishes your reputation. A good lawyer blog is providing valuable information on a niche area to the public, media, colleagues and prospective clients. Such a blog says you are knowledgeable and care – the blog will garner new clients based on this online reputation you are establishing. If people think you are blogging to sell ads as opposed to providing free information, your reputation will take a hit.”

(Thanks to Jerry Lawson at netlawblog for pointing to Brad DeLong‘s post and to our prior discussion of the issue.)

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