Don’t get your client in trouble. What you don’t know can hurt your client. Unlike other businesses offering professional services, attorneys and law firms are subject to limitations with online content. These limitations dictate what can and cannot be advertised or otherwise asserted. The rules vary by state, so it is important for any web designer or SEO specialist to consult the rules regarding attorney advertising in the state or states where their attorney clients practice and then follow those rules. There will be much more to it than simply slapping a “This is not legal advice” disclaimer in the footer. Below are some examples of rules regarding law firm web content — they are by no means comprehensive. Again, please consult the attorney ethics rules in the state(s) where your client practices law for the rules applying to your client. First, web content such as websites, blogs, advertisements on others’ websites and emails is generally … [Read more...] about What You Need to Know About Law Firm SEO Ethics and State Laws
Prescribed debt law
I’m at the FTC’s “Journalism & Internet Age” Workshop in Washington DC today, where we’re expecting addresses from Rupert Murdoch and Arianna Huffington, along with Josh Cohen of Google News and a variety of panels. I’ll be on one of those panels later today. I’m going to do a big live blog of things I find interesting, and you can also watch the webcast via this page. Why is the FTC doing this workshop? FTC has policy functions assigned to it to investigate new developments in the marketplace and make legislative recommendations. With radio, recommended act that made the FCC. Workshop today intended to bring out more facts. “The bottom seems to be falling out of the news business” as consumers shift their habits. Though newspapers were still profitable overall in 2008; TV still main way people get information. But newsrooms of dailies may employ 25% fewer people. Was at the LA Times recently and felt sense of shock at rows of … [Read more...] about Live Blogging The FTC Workshop On Journalism & The Internet
The "right to be forgotten": a triumph of individual privacy rights or censorship? It's going to depend on how it plays out in specific circumstances. The Luxembourg-based European Union Court of Justice, Europe's "top court," ruled earlier today that Google can be compelled to remove information about individuals from search results as part of a new, EU-specific "right to be forgotten." The ruling will have no impact on US search results or those in other markets. However the ruling is significant in that it creates another chasm between the way that Google operates in North America and Europe. Google's antitrust settlement in Europe is similar in that it creates an EU-specific SERP. The case arose when a Spanish citizen wanted information on real estate debts (the auction of his house) removed from Google's Spanish search results. The information was published in a Spanish newspaper. The individual, Mr. Costeja González, asked the newspaper to remove the information because the debt … [Read more...] about The “Right To Be Forgotten”
Google has won a potentially significant legal victory in an Ohio case that involved antitrust claims and may portend victory in other similar cases where private litigants have asserted antitrust violations against Google. The case, which we’ve written about before is Google v. myTriggers.com, originally filed in late 2009. The short version of the underlying facts is as follows: Shopping site myTriggers spent lots of money driving traffic with AdWords myTriggers’ quality score changed and it had to start paying more for traffic The company racked up a roughly $300K debt to Google, which Google later sued to collect Rather than deal with the matter of the debt directly myTriggers sued Google claiming violations of Ohio state law based on a statute called the Valentine Act, modeled on the federal Sherman Antitrust Act. The central claim by myTriggers was that Google used “anti-competitive restrictions” to block competition in the paid-search market and that it … [Read more...] about Google Wins Potentially Significant Antitrust Victory In Ohio
To consumer advocates, payday loans have become synonymous with predatory lending. The small short-term loans often come with astronomical interest rates that can pull consumers who are trying to get by from paycheck to paycheck into a deepening hole of debt. Just this week, the FTC fined a payday lending group $1.3 billion for deceptive loan practices. Industry watchdog groups have been advocating for more regulation and pressing for change, and in May, Google announced it would start to ban payday and high-interest loan ads. The ban started rolling out the week of July 20. There were estimates the move could cost Google millions in lost ad revenue. Yet, more than two months later, it appears the ban is likely having little to no impact on Google’s bottom line. as ads continue to fill the available slots on desktop and mobile. Why? Because it’s not an actual ban, and the advertisers quickly figured out how to change their messaging to meet Google’s policies. In a … [Read more...] about Why are payday loan ads still showing on Google after the ban?