Right before the holidays, we wrote a heartwarming story about child porn and stumbled across the website of Lindeman, Alvarado & Frye, a Texas criminal defense firm with a variety of sexual crimes practice groups.
We wrote an Adventures in Law Firm Advertising post about the firm because of its disturbing taste in stock photos. For example, we thought this image for a kiddie porn defense practice group was highly questionable:
Apparently, the photos did not stay up long after our post. The Texas Lawyer wrote on Friday about the firm’s learning a lesson from ATL:
Above the Law noted that a photo of a pigtailed girl accompanying Lindeman, Alvarado’s description of its Child Sexual Assault & Internet Solicitation of a Minor Defense Practice was a “little off.” The blog also pointed out a photo of a troubled-looking woman wrapped in a robe illustrating the firm’s Rape and Sexual Assault Defense Practice; one of a hand over the mouth of a young girl to illustrate the firm’s Family Violence Defense Practice; and a photo of a suitcase filled with white packages illustrating the firm’s Interstate and International Drug Charges Defense Practice.
The stock photos in question were added to the firm’s Web site in April by FindLaw, which Lindeman, Alvarado had hired to revamp and expand the firm’s site, Lindeman says. Lindeman, Alvarado partner Charles B. “Brad” Frye says the project cost the firm about $30,000.
We think Lindeman may be entitled to a refund. An ATL reader sent the firm a link to our post, and the firm e-mailed Findlaw to get the photos taken down. Since it was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, they didn’t remove them from the site until Monday, Nov. 30.
Not that it matters. We still have the screen shots. Plus, we discovered one more photo — thanks, Google cache! — that may be the worst of them all….
Here was the photo the firm had on its Sex Crimes page (via Google cache):
The subtext: Have you ruined a child’s life, taken his innocence, and been charged by the po-po? We’ll defend you!
Brad Frye, one of the name partners, actually created a commenter account with us and defended his firm in the comment section of our original post. Cute!
Jim Lindeman told the Texas Lawyer:
Jim Lindeman, a partner in seven-lawyer Lindeman, Alvarado — which defends people accused of committing crimes — acknowledges the pictures “were not appropriate for our Web site.”
He also notes that he and others reviewed the site before it went live last April, but he doesn’t have a specific memory of the photos. He was most concerned with reviewing the text on the Web site to ensure it was accurate, he says, and he did not pay attention to the photos.
Their text review skills are on par with their photo review skills:
More bad news for Lindeman: the incident has brought to light the fact that the firm never got its website approved by the Texas Bar Association, and now has to pay a $300 filing fee instead of the regular $70 fee.
But no hard feelings… or lost business at least:
Lindeman says the firm has not lost any business because of the brouhaha over the photos, and in fact, the bloggers brought a lot of attention to the firm. He says 40 percent of the traffic to the firm’s site in November came through a link from Above the Law.
About 5,900 unique visitors looked at www.lindemanfrye.com in November, up from the normal number of 3,000 to 3,500 a month, Lindeman says, citing statistics provided by FindLaw.
Here are the other photos that caught our attention last month:
As noted in the Texas Lawyer article, the images disturb because they should be on a victim assistance website, not a criminal defense website. And Lindeman may not be the only “victim” of the website designer’s poor stock photo choices:
[Jodi Koupal, a senior client development consultant at FindLaw who handles the Lindeman, Alvarado account] says a designer took the photos from a database of thousands of stock images the company uses.
“The typical thing is practice-specific images. If it’s a personal-injury practice, we do car crash [photos]. I’m sure the designer just selected some photos. We create the Web site. We send it to the client to approve it,” she says.
She says the same photos could be on another firm’s Web site because they are stock photos, although FindLaw would have no way of knowing which firm may be using the same pictures on its Web site. She says the company has created about 15,000 firm Web sites.
CHECK YOU WEBSITES!
Picture Imperfect: Houston Firm Learns a Hard Lesson About the Power of the Internet [Texas Lawyer]
Earlier: Adventures in Lawyer Advertising: Texas Firm’s Kiddie Porn Practice Group