Martindale-Hubbell and I have a touchy relationship. I had to write them and tell them to stop sending a passive-aggressive salesman to our firm, and then write him and tell him to stop contacting me. We spend money to be listed by them on their directories, because some potential clients expect it, but for the most part it yields cold calls from crazy people. Their marketing is increasingly sleazy.
But at least they haven't forgotten me.
That's why this morning I received yet another spam email from Martindale's "partner," American Registry, which still — a year after I last wrote about it — wants to sell me an ass-ugly $159 plaque commemorating the 15th anniversary of my admission to the California bar. That anniversary — in 2009 — is now three years old.
In 1994, you swore an oath and were admitted to the Bar. On the 15th Anniversary of that proud occasion, your efforts and service since that day are worthy of recognition. Congratulations. Although your official anniversary occurred in the past, we did not want you to miss the chance to commemorate this milestone. The value of your accomplishments never expire and should be displayed for years to come. You worked hard to gain admission to the Bar. Share your pride with those who have helped you make the most of your professional career: your family, your clients and your colleagues.
I cannot think of a single lawyer who would willingly display the "beautiful handcrafted plaque designed for you" marketed by American Registry with the spammy assistance of Martindale-Hubbell.
Dear in-house-counsel and prospective clients: this is why listings in Martindale-Hubbell-operated attorney registries are worthless and should be neither a prerequisite nor an enticement to hire an attorney. The rational way to choose attorneys is through putting in a little work to find a referral. You should not search for an attorney using the same methodology you use to find a hilarious cat picture for your great-aunt. And you should not put your faith in a company that charges attorneys to be on registries and then uses their contact information to spam them with emails hawking crap like this.