Lawyers Sued Over Blog Posts Criticizing Referral Hotline for PI Cases
Posted Sep 21, 2010 8:48 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Husband-and-wife Florida personal-injury lawyers Kathryn Fenderson Scott and Charles Scott practice law together and blog together. It’s the latter activity that spurred a lawsuit against them, filed by a marketing company that owns the 1-800-Ask-Gary hotline.
In posts on the Scott and Fenderson Law Blog, the Scotts list several law firms that receive referrals from 1-800-Ask-Gary, a hotline connected to a chain of accident medical clinics called Physicians Group, the Tampa Tribune reports. The Scotts alleged the law firms don’t disclose the referral relationship.
The suit by W.S. Marketing Inc. says the Scotts themselves have ethics problems because their blog posts don’t meet Florida Bar requirements for legal advertising, the Tribune reports. The complaint also claims unfair competition from the blog posts.
Also named as a defendant is lawyer Peter Brudny of Tampa, the story says. One of the Scotts' blog posts asked people who used the hotline to call Brudny about their experiences. He has been investigating the link between Ask Gary, the Physicians Group and the lawyers who receive referrals from the venture.
The defendants say the suit is an attempt to stop the critics. "They can't show any economic harm” from the blog, Brudny told the Tampa Tribune. “This is just their attempt to quiet any investigation of what's going on inside their walls."
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