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Before Easongate, came Ketchumgate -- a term that I (and other bloggers) have used to describe the situation in which communications company Ketchum paid commentator and syndicated columnist Armstrong Williams with tax dollars to advocate for Bush administration policies. Williams did not disclose this payola when he appeared on television and radio to give his opinion (more here).

I bring the story up now in order to share with the community one of the many reasons I am proud to be affiliated with the bloggers listed in the left-hand margin of Legal Blog Watch. It's not that I agree with each blogger each day -- you may have already noticed that -- but that I respect them because every last one won't accept any compensation from any third party in exchange for placing content in their blogs.

That's why I'm pointing out Matt Homann's post, "LegalMatch apologizes." For those of you who don't know, Homann's been bird-dogging LegalMatch over what he calls its "deceitful telephone pitch," among other things, as hard as any consumer reporter ever went after an abusive merchant. Check out Homann's LegalMatch category, and start from the bottom, where you'll see posts like Why I'll Never Use LegalMatch, and LegalMatch Doesn't Get It, etc.

What's notable about Homann's post today is his disclosure that LegalMatch CEO Randy Williams -- the same Williams who stars in many of Homann's posts -- paid for Homann's trip to New York. Homann writes:

"Several weeks ago, I got a telephone call from Randy Wells, the LegalMatch CEO. Randy wanted to meet with me in person, and (after I was certain the purpose of the meeting was not to serve me with summons) I suggested we meet during LegalTech New York. (Full Disclosure Time: LegalMatch picked up the tab for my trip to NYC.  I did not agree to do anything in exchange for the trip, other than meet with Randy Wells.)

Randy and I had a nice conversation during dinner -- most of which was "off the record" -- and we discussed LegalMatch's reputation problem. I told Randy that, though my blog has become sort of a clearinghouse for LegalMatch comments pro and con, my only problem with his company's service was (and remained) the methods they used to entice lawyers to subscribe to their LegalMatch service.

While Randy assured me that things were changing inside LegalMatch, I suggested to him, in true ClueTrain fashion, that he needed to open a dialog with all those who seem to really hate his company, including the people who continue to leave unfavorable comments on this blog.

Randy took my advice, and has sent me the following letter that I post (unedited) in its entirety. If you have comments, feel free to leave them to this post, because I know LegalMatch is reading.   Otherwise, call Randy directly. His telephone number is at the end of the letter. ..." More here.

For me, Homann's post confirms that our disclosure system works. What do you think? E-mail me.

Posted by Product Team on February 17, 2005 at 02:24 PM | Permalink | TrackBack (0)


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