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Law Office Management

Feb. 2, 2007

Online: Under the Influence of YouTube

DUI lawyers on YouTube. By Malaika Costello-Dougherty

By Malaika Costello-Dougherty
      Edited by Martin Lasden
      Drunken behavior is such a popular topic on the video-sharing website YouTube that nearly 3 million viewers have seen the "Funny DUI" video that features a man arrested on drunk-driving charges falling head first into the wall of a police station. So what could be a better place than YouTube to advertise your expertise as a drunk-driving defense attorney?
      DUI lawyers fare particularly well on YouTube because there are so many searches for drunken-related videos, and a lawyer's promotional clips could pop up in these searches. Also, these DUI attorney videos target the younger demographic that visits YouTube?the same as most DUI defendants.
      Connecticut lawyer Jay Ruane posted several videos, most about a minute long, where he stands in front of a row of legal books and describes DUI penalties and his typical fees. Ruane made these videos with a $40 Web camera and edited them on his computer.
      That's not to say that all lawyers produce their own video clips. Michigan attorney Patrick Barrone, for example, has clips on YouTube that were professionally produced and originally made for television. In one video, Barrone sits behind a desk with his hands clasped and explains that pleading guilty is the worst mistake you can make before talking to a lawyer. And after Mel Gibson's DUI arrest, California attorney Darren Kavinoky was featured on Entertainment Tonight, with dramatic music playing in the background, as he gave a sound bite about faulty Breathalyzer tests. This 31-second clip is also now on YouTube.
      Kavinoky, in fact, was unaware that the clip appeared on YouTube and many other video websites. It was put there by his marketing company, Legal Marketing, to help brand Kavinoky as a hip expert.
      But perhaps no one is more bullish on the new medium than Ruane, who says he gets about eight to ten cases a month from his videos.
      Ruane and his videos also show up on the popular social-networking site MySpace, where he claims to have more than 1,200 "friends," all potential referrals when someone fails to walk a straight line.

Megan Kinneyn

Daily Journal Staff Writer

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