Remembering TCPaul, 2016-2019

1 Star Review!

Some guy just left my office a 1 star review because I didn' uknownvalue04/26/19
Contact the website. They might have some kind of recourse a brokelawyer04/26/19
If it was on Google reviews or Yelp, you can get it removed caj11104/26/19
You can get it removed and/or reply with the explanation in isthisit04/27/19
This is all good advice - I am just having a mini existentia uknownvalue04/27/19
Dont let it stress you, man. The law is the most misundersto tombrady1204/27/19
Don't worry! Nobody takes these things seriously. Ever patenttrollnj04/27/19
"Hell, if you wanted, you could probably get some of your fr caj11104/27/19
You could either ignore it and don't take the bait, see if h catwoman33304/27/19
uknownvalue (Apr 26, 2019 - 2:02 pm)

Some guy just left my office a 1 star review because I didn't reply to his email in which he indicates that he is representing himself and wants free advice on civil procedure. We have never met and never spoken. So basically some man is out there trying to prevent me from getting paid clients because I didn't have time to give him free help.

I am not the most knowledgeable attorney or the most strategic, but for 5 years I have worked so hard to build up my clientele referral base when I all I started with was zero clients and a mountain of student loan debt. As long it is only my own clients that I have to please, then I thought I could handle all the bs and stress of running this office, but if I now have to please any person who randomly contacts my office, then I need to get out.

/rant

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brokelawyer (Apr 26, 2019 - 2:34 pm)

Contact the website. They might have some kind of recourse available.

Every day I get asked for free advice. All lawyers do. I agree that it’s aggravating. Just ask for a $10k retainer and tell them it would be unethical to discuss things further without the money.

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caj111 (Apr 26, 2019 - 2:37 pm)

If it was on Google reviews or Yelp, you can get it removed pretty easily if he was never really your client. They can be contacted easily, and you can at least have the review temporarily hidden while they investigate. If it was Avvo, not so sure about that one.

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isthisit (Apr 27, 2019 - 9:45 am)

You can get it removed and/or reply with the explanation in your OP.

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uknownvalue (Apr 27, 2019 - 10:32 am)

This is all good advice - I am just having a mini existential melt down about my professional future. I took this way too personally - maybe this is a sign that something is faulty in the way I practice ...

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tombrady12 (Apr 27, 2019 - 1:01 pm)

Dont let it stress you, man. The law is the most misunderstood profession in America. What the average person thinks a lawyer does/can do is almost always waaaaaaay off base.

When I was in midlaw, some local business owner (who was not a client) called me about a stupid issue he was having while I was driving back from a depo 3 hours away. I answered and he started barking questions at me. I told him I was on the road, it was like 3:00 on a Friday, and I would be happy to talk to him Monday if he would call my secretary's office and leave his contact info. He hangs up and Saturday my firm gets a bad google review about how "typical lawyers blowing off working class people with problems." Lol

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patenttrollnj (Apr 27, 2019 - 7:16 pm)

Don't worry!

Nobody takes these things seriously. Everybody knows these online review sites get played with all the time.

Hell, if you wanted, you could probably get some of your friends to go on there and give you a 5 star review. NOT suggesting you actually do this, but it's something that could probably be done relatively easily.

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caj111 (Apr 27, 2019 - 10:36 pm)

"Hell, if you wanted, you could probably get some of your friends to go on there and give you a 5 star review. NOT suggesting you actually do this, but it's something that could probably be done relatively easily."

When I got a one-star review on Yelp from somebody who was never a client, just a vendor that had not delivered on certain services I paid for and had called his office to complain about it several times, I had a few of my clients with whom I am closest and do a lot of work for leave some five-star reviews to counter the effect of it. I also reported to Yelp that the one-star review was from someone that was never a client and to please remove the review, explaining the whole situation. Yelp eventually removed both the one-star and five-star reviews. Naturally, I did not understand why they removed the five-star reviews and their reasoning was it sounded like shilling. I didn't think so but whatever, I'm obviously very biased on this issue. Now, when the Yelp salespeople call, I have the perfect excuse to tell them why I don't want to pay for an enhanced listing or an ad campaign. They just tell me, "well, I'm sorry about that" and end the call.

OP, what website was this where you got a one star review? People might be able to give you more help on this issue.

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catwoman333 (Apr 27, 2019 - 11:51 pm)

You could either ignore it and don't take the bait, see if he finally gives up. Or you can ask satisfied clients to post favorable comments about their experience with you. Or write a very terse, one-line response to his comments, noting he's never been your client and urge callers like him seeking free advice to consult legal aid. That should be sufficient to protect your reputation with current, future clients.

Most rational people "get the message" and shop elsewhere after one or 2 unreturned calls or emails. If, on the other hand, he's a psycho cyber-stalking you at length, you can send him a registered "cease and desist" nastygram telling him if it continues, you will contact the cops and/or drag him into court to pay you damages for harassment and business interference. It's been my experience that most passive/aggressive jerks back down when they realize their threats could seriously cost them $$ or their freedom.

I know it's hard to not let people like him stress you out but, sadly, this kind of garbage has become the price of admission when you advertise to the public at large in the Internet Age--where anyone can easily post negative trash to push your emotional buttons.

I try to avoid this by limiting my practice to word of mouth referrals from other attys/organizations with similar client focus instead of advertising to "the world at large" via the internet. I also recommend proactively using voicemail/email messages urging ad responders who don't get a call back within X days (or a week) to consult legal aid (and provide the legal aid contact info).

Good luck.

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