Law Firm Marketing Expert Witness
Looking for an expert witness or evaluation for a lawsuit or dispute related to law firm, legal profession, or professional-services marketing?
Ross was a commercial litigator, Marketing Director, and Marketing Partner. Today, as an internationally known law firm marketing and management consultant, Ross analyzes the issues thoroughly, knowledgeably, and credibly.
A Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management, and inaugural inductee into the Legal Marketing Association’s Hall of Fame, he has solid marketing credentials as an expert witness in marketing, marketing ethics, and management-related cases.
Ross and his many marketing initiatives have received dozens of international marketing awards from the LMA, ABA, and ALA, and a “Marketing Masters” award from Inc. magazine. A former LMA Vice President and the 2013 and 2014 Chair of the LMA’s Ethics Committee, Ross has received the LMA’s first Lifetime Achievement Award (1998), and numerous other honors, including its grand prize “Best of Show” honor five times.
He has trained tens of thousands of lawyers worldwide, and speaks knowledgeably about all types of marketing and business-development techniques, and the full range of marketing tools used by 21st-century law firms. Click here to see over 100 examples of his work for law firms worldwide.
Ross is a persuasive law firm expert witness in matters relating to branding, differentiation, and reputation development; sales techniques and client development; websites, online, and digital marketing, including PPC / AdWords; social media like LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, and Twitter; the history and development of marketing law and other professional-services firms; and many other areas.
Ross has been hired as law firm marketing expert witness in three prominent lawsuits relating to marketing, branding, ethics, and technology.
In the first case, an international law firm was sued by a regional law firm in a trademark-infringement case involving the use of the shorter version their firm name they used following its rebrand. When the international firm opened an office in the regional firm’s home city, the local firm sued, claiming marketplace confusion.
Ross was hired as the defense’s expert witness, to analyze the marketplace issues, consider legal industry and market trends, and offer an opinion. Appropriately, the case was settled under the approximate terms Ross had outlined.
In the second case, Habush, Habush & Rottier vs. Cannon & Dunphy, two competing leading Wisconsin law firms waged aggressive marketing campaigns. One tool Cannon & Dunphy used was a pay-per-click campaign via Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Briefly, the Cannon firm bid on the words in the Habush law firm name, so that a search that included, e.g. the word “Habush” would show a shaded Sponsored Link that would send a reader to the Cannon & Dunphy law firm’s website.
The plaintiff law firm alleged that this conduct was unethical and unreasonable and sued under a Wisconsin Invasion of Privacy statute. The plaintiff’s law firm marketing expert witness was Larry Bodine.
Ross’s expert witness report showed that the law firm defendants’ behavior, while aggressive, was both reasonable and ethical.
The case was decided on motion for summary judgment in which, following an apparent battle of the experts on this issue, the judge found as a matter of law that defendants’ conduct was not unreasonable:
“Lastly, [Judge] Kahn noted that Habush offered scholarly opinion that buying another lawyer’s name as a search term was ethically questionable, and therefore unreasonable. The defense offering contrary expert opinion.”
For further information, the defense’s lawyer was Milwaukee’s outstanding Ric Gass.
The third case, Larry Pitt & Associates v. Lundy Law (Opposition No. 91210158, decided March 6, 2018) was a trademark dispute in Pennsylvania between two leading personal injury law firms. The suit was originally filed in 2012 with the USPTO to determine whether Lundy’s use of “REMEMBER THIS NAME” functioned as a Service Mark, and whether Pitt’s “REMEMBER THIS NUMBER” constituted an infringement. Pitt, ably represented by Baker Hostetler’s Jacqueline Lesser, initially filed a Notice of Opposition against the registration of Lundy’s mark under the Trademark Act on the grounds that REMEMBER THIS NAME is merely descriptive or generic when used in connection with legal services. Ross was the legal marketing expert for Larry Pitt, in opposition.
The Board found Ross to be “qualified as a law firm marketing expert in the field of law firm advertising” and “qualified to testify as to how to convey legal marketing information to consumers and how practitioners in the field of legal marketing believe such information will be perceived.” Ross testified under oath, and provided both an expert report and amended expert report. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board found in favor of Pitt in opposition, and refused Lundy Law’s registration.