More Great Moments In Legal Marketing: MyMotionCalendar.Com

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42 Responses

  1. adam says:

    you should call them and ask about ponies.

  2. Mark Lyon says:

    As for (4), it might actually be worth taking one of these crazy matters in exchange for being able to interview the client and finally answering the other questions.

  3. My minimum for any Florida Panhandle work is $80, so I'm out.

  4. jb says:

    Yes, #4 is what interests me the most. The fact that these spammers exist suggests that there is a market for their services, the minimum size of which depends on the spammers' overhead. I am very curious who that market consists of.

  5. Sean Rice says:

    Some days I forget why I quit practicing. Thank you for reminding me.

  6. Dan Weber says:

    I'm sort of skeptical the client even exists — they want to hook you in with the promise of a case and then sell you more.

    Or can you look up the case information in Florida?

  7. Dan Weber says:

    Sorry to double-post, but how do you even know it's US Bank that you would be representing, and not [Unfortunate Person]?

  8. OK, $78, but that's my final offer.

  9. Another Woman says:

    Are legal hearings often held "at 10:45 pm"?

  10. nlp says:

    Isn't that how Prenda found its attorneys?

  11. Ron Larson says:

    I think you are confused. From what I read, the defendant is the city of DeFuniak Springs, which is in Walton County, FL.

    The case is being heard in a court in the nearby city of Marianna, which is in Jackson County, FL.

    Perhaps they stick the county names in the legal files in case there are two cities with the same name, but in different counties, in FL.

    It sounds like they want to just find an attorney who will file their motion on their behalf for lunch money.

  12. Ron Larson says:

    And to answer your bigger question. Yes, there are law firms who are nothing but paper mills. They take cases cheap. They have an army of minimum wage staff who fill out the forms and file all the standard appeals and pleas with the court. An attorney never actually looks at the case, despite his signature. In other words, they just go through the motions.

    The business model is volume with zero quality. They spend a lot of advertising because the customers who respond to bus-bench ads for a lawyer are also the ones stupid enough to think a $250 fee to defend against a DUI, or a wage garnishment, is more then enough.

    My mom briefly worked as a secretary in a New Orleans law firm. She said that they lawyers never read anything. Everything was done by secretaries and legal assistants. The lawyers took long 3-martini lunches followed by golf games, then came in and signed all the forms and went home (or back to the bar).

    I had to hire two lawyers when my now ex-wife got DUI's. I quickly learned how those TOP GUN DUI law firms really work. They just file all the standard appeals, they lose, they tell you "Too bad… you lost", and call it a day. The CHP, DMV, and the courts all recognize their letterhead and pretty much ignore anything they put on it. They know it is going to be baseless BS. The exact same BS they said in the last 100 cases they represented. All they did was change the defendant's name.

  13. Ron Larson says:

    That is why I declined by employer's benefit of legal insurance. For a monthly fee, I get legal advice from a large legal firm. But I can't wrap my head around the idea that this firm isn't going to do everything it can to get me to go away if I bring them a problem. Spending time and effort on any case takes away from their profit margin. They would have zero incentive to help me.

    So I suspect I would get nothing but lip service from them and I would frankly be better off without them.

  14. anne mouse says:

    Does Florida have some extremely liberal rules on pro hac vice appearances, or something? I mean, it's one thing to ask a lawyer to show up in court in violation of all standards of ethics (you know, like the duty to investigate the case, maybe by actually talking to the client), but is it even *possible* to put in an appearance on the other side of the country on a few days' notice?

  15. David says:

    Ron, the city in Walton County is listed as the plaintiff, not the defendant. Which is odd, because the plaintiff is earlier stated as U.S. Bank.

  16. anne mouse says:

    I meant to add, is your partner even licensed to practice in Florida?

  17. In other news, John Steele of Prenda might (depending on how seriously he took the order) be appearing before Judge Wright tomorrow.

    He's been up to some sneaky stuff, possibly even forging bouncebacks to avoid "service".

    It might be a good one.

  18. N. Easton says:

    It is absolutely standard, out in the sticks where I live, for local attorneys to take $75 a pop to show up and continue pissant collections cases. My office is literally across the street from the courthouse, so if I can pick up two or three on law day and sit there for a one-hour docket, it's not a bad deal.

    The part I am uncomfortable with is that I am presented with some affidavits of investigation and so forth (which I have never actually had to present to the court, even when the firm I was appearing on behalf of got a default judgment because the defendant did not show up) that I frankly don't have much confidence in.

  19. Nicholas Weaver says:

    Do what we do with spammers for the V-word and other things: Actually attempt to participate…

    Email back, and ask for something. Don't end up agreeing in the end, but play along enough to get the case # info. When you do, contact the client directly and ask if they consented to this behavior.

  20. Kevin says:

    To play devil's advocate here, is it possible there was a typo in your friend's email address and this was actually intended for someone with whom they have a relationship with in FL?

    Still a joke, but that may explain some of it.

  21. Lizard says:

    I've had a friend who knows something abut how scammers operate say that especially moronic spam is deliberate — quite simply, they're fishing for dumb people. REALLY dumb people. By making sure only the stupidest of the stupidest will reply to their ads, they save time dealing with the fish who might wriggle off the hook. Sending spam is virtually free, but it can take hours of work to get money from someone who actually nibbles, and if those hours don't produce anything, that's an incredible waste of their time. If YOU had the time, you could cost these scumwads a lot of money by wasting theirs, because the same psychology that drives the suckers drives the scammers — once they get the idea there's a big payoff, they'll keep pursuing it, no matter what, and the more time they invest with no payoff, the more compelled they are to keep going — the "sunk money" fallacy.

  22. Troutwaxer says:

    You should engage with these people and document the fun! Not just ponies, either; play dumb but not incredibly so and see how much time and money you can cost them!

  23. Brian Tannebaum says:

    $76 and a chicken.

  24. Sam Browning says:

    The last time I appeared in Federal Court and argued against a motion for Summary Judgement that was directed against my client, I put in a minimum of 15 hours prep time.

    It's hard for me to believe someone would be able to carry out this assigment for more then minimum wage.

  25. AlphaCentauri says:

    It sounds like a lot of it is laid-off attorneys handling hearings related to foreclosures. A sign of the times.

  26. AlphaCentauri says:

    They also sound like they're pretty much limited to Florida. They may have been less interested in hiring Ken's partner than they were at putting the bug in his ear in case he has a friend/relative who is a lawyer in Florida who is un/underemployed.

  27. ZarroTsu says:

    I wonder if it would be more efficient to send advice to this spam-firm through their support email than their tangible emails. It'll sit there and stagnate with no results – but we gotta follow their example, right?

  28. Lizard says:

    It sounds like a lot of it is laid-off attorneys handling hearings related to foreclosures. A sign of the times.

    I'm suddenly getting this image of a pickup truck pulling up behind a courthouse, and a dozen lawyers scrambling up, and the guy in the trick shouting, over the ruckus, "Three! I need THREE! Three guys who can do probate! You, you there, the big one… can you do probate? OK! Two more! TWO! Just two more! That's it! Done! No more for today! No more! Come back tomorrow!"

  29. Duncan Byers says:

    They should hire someone from Prenda Law.

  30. Clifford says:

    @Brian Tannebaum

    C'mon, what's one more dollar? You guys almost have a contract.

  31. That Anonymous Coward says:

    Prenda uses/used Craigslist.
    The Germans looking for a legal dream team snailmailed tons of people (recent grads mostly IIRC).

    So is this email a prime example of what happens to a business when the CEO feels compelled to cut overhead and costs so he can earn 3000 times what an employee does?

  32. Darryl says:

    According to the article Ken referenced:

    "The hearings covered by MyMotionCalendar.com are nondispositive, meaning they are procedural and don't typically have an impact on the broader case."

    Now I am a Texas litigator and know nothing about Florida procedure, but I am pretty sure even in Florida a "motion to dismiss" or a "motion for summary judgment" is dispositive.

  33. Charley says:

    maybe they have you listed by county, and their database is so bad that they don't differentiate between orange county florida and orange county california?

    Not that orange county florida is close enough to make taking a case in the panhandle reasonable.

  34. nlp says:

    For some reason, instead of MyMotionCalendar, I keep reading that as MyLittleMotion.

  35. Sam Browning says:

    Like my little pony?

  36. manybellsdown says:

    Everyone else is making these witty comments, and I still can't get past the fact they want you to buy a $500 plane ticket for a job that pays $75.

  37. JTG says:

    I wonder if they simply had a form that had blanks, and they simply fill in the blanks with semi-random values. But then, then forgot to have the value in the "blank" before the "vs." be the same as the value in the "blank" after the "Representing Plaintiff". Not a good sign if they forgot about a detail like that.

  38. Ken Mencher says:

    And I thought I got some weird emails to one of my accounts (I've got one where about a half-dozen people seem to think it's theirs, so I get phone bills from three different countries, job offers, and notices to bring a car in for service every so often)….

    I can't believe someone involved with the legal profession being that sloppy (The time of the hearing is different, depending on which section of the email you're reading, and the plaintiff changes, too)…

    This has got to be some idiot spammer who knows nothing about legal matters…

  39. Anony Mouse says:

    "They also sound like they're pretty much limited to Florida."

    When I closed on my house, my agent told me that you can't hardly sneeze in Florida without hitting a lawyer (or a billboard for one), and that they're used for almost everything. If Florida has such an absolute glut of lawyers, it's possible that the market's been depressed so that there's a lot who'll work for $75.

  40. Ron Coleman says:

    A whole damned chicken, Tannenbaum?

  41. Why did you redact the defendant's name but not the case number?

  42. Sterling Archer says:

    If they only charge $75 for a hearing, what else will they do for $75? Can I hire them to go and yell at some guy for $75? I could get someone to do it cheaper from Craigslist, but I don't think they would show up in a suit.