If the Nixon Peabody song were lawyer advertising — which, of course, it is not — it would be the best lawyer advertisement ever.
And this, which a helpful reader emailed to us, would be second best:
In case you can’t read the fine print at the bottom — which offers some helpful tips on staying out of trouble with the law, but which should NOT be construed as legal advice — here’s a close up:
Right now you’re probably thinking: This CANNOT be for real.
But it is, dear readers, it is. We confirmed the authenticity of this advertisement with Mr. Peter John himself.
You can check out our short interview with him, after the jump.
We called the telephone numbers on the advertisement. The toll-free one didn’t work from our area, but the 225 number worked just fine. This conversation ensued:
Hello, may I speak to Peter John please?
This is he.
I’m calling about this, umm, ad of yours…. It reads, “The Thugs’ Lawyer?”
What agency are you calling from?
No agency, no agency! I don’t work for any agency.
What do you want to know?
This ad — is it for real?
Yes. You need to see this ad in context. Go to my website, www.ptamon.com. You’ll see there a wealth of history and background about who I am, which will explain why things are they way they are.
Look, I am close to the streets. And the streets have been good to me. Because people on the streets see me as one of them, there’s a trust factor [when they seek to retain me as their lawyer]. I come from the Caribbean, where we don’t have much opportunity.
The message I’m trying to send [with this ad] is that even if you’ve done something wrong, you are still entitled to representation. That is what our Constitution provides.
My advertisement has been so abused and misused that it’s almost comical. It’s better to give background on myself, so people understand that I’m a creative person, trying to reach clients in creative ways.
I’m telling them: “You’ve been labeled as a thug. But I am your lawyer, and you are innocent until proven guilty.”
So how has this advertising been working out for you?
This advertisement has been very successful for us. The laws need to change to allow us to be more like doctors [in advertising], to go at our customers from a more specialized marketing perspective.
Tell it to the people at Nixon Peabody!
After we got off the phone with Mr. John, we visited his website, www.ptamon.com, entitled “P’Ta Mon Reggae Bad Boy.” As you’ll see, it doesn’t have much to do with the law; it’s more about his career as a reggae musician. But it does make clear that Peter “P’Ta Mon” John is, as he claims, “a creative person.”
There’s only passing mention of Mr. John’s legal practice:
P’ta Mon is a Licensed Pilot, holds a Masters in Business, and has a Juris Doctor Degree. When he is not on tour he is writing songs, doing research. P’taMon states that he is a student of mankind, he enjoys studying people and the way we treat one another. His convictions about brotherly love and broad educational perspecitve help him formulate the profund, yet simple conclusions captured in his songs, such as: I can only love you so many ways…
Tell it to Sen. Larry Craig.
More about Peter John, from the bio section:
P’ta Mon (pronounced: Peeta Mon) is a native of St. Croix, V.I., one of the U.S. Virgin Islands, near St. Thomas. When he came to the U.S. he first settled in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps. His hobbies include dancing, fishing, jogging, and flying airplanes. All of his family is from the British West Indies. He has two brothers. He is single because he is very busy and focused on his music career. He believes that you can’t force love.
Amen, brother! We’re sure that many Biglaw associates can relate. When you’re billing 2500 hours a year, of course you’re going to be single (unless you marry a colleague).
P’ta Mon favorite food is fish. He claims to be a very good cook and likes to eat. He hopes one day to settle down with the right person. His ideal type of woman is physically fit…
P’Ta Mon, have you met Aquagirl?
When asked to describe himself the only thing he is willing to say is “spiritual and fun loving”. When describing his music P’ta man says the goal of his music is to make every body feel nice. “I make happy music.”
Happy music? Nixon Peabody should contact Mr. John and commission him to produce their 2008 anthem. How would you like to hear Everyone’s A Winner set to a reggae beat?
P’Ta Mon Reggae Bad Boy [official website]