Monday, February 23, 2009

Carolyn Fights Back!

Although I have never met her, I am a big fan of Carolyn Elefant. I have been reading her MyShingle.com for years, and have always been impressed by her commitment to the practice of law, and to us lawyers. So, it caught my attention when I saw Carolyn feeling a need to defend herself this week. Seems there is a bit of hostile commenting going around. In particular Carolyn is put out by an anonymous poster on her site questioning her ethics. Is Carolyn worked up? You betcha. Am I questioning her character? Nope. In fact, to show my support, I am giving Carolyn another forum to vent. Here's what she has to say:
In response to my post on The DC Bar and Avvo, I received a comment from DC Attorney that angered me enough to write this post. Specifically, DC Attorney attacked my integrity, and the integrity of this site with the following remark:

Regardless, since it's obvious Carolyn and Josh King have a financial stake in Avvo's promotion, it's not really worth the time to bother with either.

Let me be clear: I do not have any financial stake in Avvo whatsoever. I have a listing at the site, but given my highly specialized practice area, I don't generate clients from my listing nor do I ever expect to. I've previously defended Avvo, however, there, my remarks came in response to the dismissal of a class action against Avvo. And in my most recent post, my focus was more on the DC Bar's reaction to the site, rather than a promotion for the Avvo itself.

Look, DC Attorney - if you don't agree with my position on Avvo, just say so - and preferably, identify yourself when you do. But don't you dare attack my integrity. I realize that it's hard to believe that a little site like mine can offer so much content without financial support from outside sources, but yes it's true. Because MyShingle has always been, at least in part, a labor love and posting here, even over six years has never felt like work.

Above all, though, I value, and stand proud of my integrity particularly in a place like the blogosphere where many others are quick to cash in on fame and change their position once cash starts flowing. So I want to make clear that at least here, my readers can trust that I am fully transparent, as I have been for six years. If I ever recommend or post favorably about a product or a company, I will always disclose my affiliation and whether I'm getting a financial benefit (in fact, in this post where I recommended Blawging Lawyers, I noted that Grant Griffiths was a friend. What I didn't say is that Grant has offered me affiliate opportunities which I declined). And even where I do have paying sponsors (such as the law.com affiliation and Nolo), I am always clear that I retain full control over my site content and my sponsors respect that. In fact, I choose sponsors carefully, and I'm only interested in those who appreciate my mission: to improve the image of solos and equip them with encouragement to succeed and to serve as an honest broker.

As some of you may know, I am currently working on a build out of MyShingle, and I will, in a measured way, be taking on sponsors and adding features to help the site generate revenue so that I can continue to provide features like Bars Reviewed. But no matter what I do, I will always be transparent with readers.

As for DC Attorney, I'd have been happy to take this offlist with him, but he cloaked his email. How ironic that someone who thought to attack my integrity didn't even have the integrity to identify himself.
Please click here to read Carolyn's original post.

Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.

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