A local attorney’s television ad starts out, “ As a rider, I understand…” and then goes on to solicit those injured in a motorcycle crash to hire him and his firm, in part, because he “rides.” Other attorneys display pictures of themselves standing next to or seated on a motorcycle. The internet is jammed with such references and ads. Anyone who checks out any publications geared to the “motorcycling” or “biker” community has seen the full page ads and “800” numbers to call for what really amounts to little more than an intake and referral service to other attorneys scattered throughout the U.S. In the spirit of full disclosure, I reference my involvement with motorcycling on my web site, with the décor in my office and in other ways. The question for the motorcycle rider reading this is:
Do you want an attorney who rides a motorcycle or do you want a good attorney?
My guess is the later. The challenge is to get past what may simply be a tactic or a hook to reel you in. OK, in one way or another, most people, especially people who are selling something, look for what might separate them from the crowd, let them identify with a particular market group and get the potential customer (client) in the door. There are those who own a motorcycle and “ride” (I use the term loosely) on those sunny, perfect days, who ride as a hobby or simply as some “S.O.A.” fashion statement. You’ve seen the T-shirt: “$20,000 and 200 miles don’t make you a biker!” If that person is also an attorney, does that provide that person with any additional, special skill or insight that might provide an additional benefit to a rider or biker in need of le gal services?
In life, there are those who have shared a common experience that allows for a special connection, deeper insight and understanding of the other. In those situations, that shared life experience may be a benefit to the client and to the attorney who has accepted the task of representation, thereby making for better representation and better application of skills. A good attorney, a great attorney, must be able to communicate and work with their client. And, the client must be able to respect and really listen to the advice and direction offered by their attorney. If that shared life experience helps that, all the better. If the attorney and client share the experiences and bond built by a lifestyle in which a motorcycle and everything about it and all that surrounds it is part of the very fabric of their lives, the good attorney may be an even better fit for that client. But, it all starts with being a good attorney. And, what’s “a good attorney?” We’ll save that for another day.
To my knowledge, a motorcycle has never presented a winning, persuasive argument in court. But, it is a hell of a great way to get there and back.
Note: Cole started riding in 1970 and did not own a cage (four wheel vehicle) until late 1977. He rides year round, putting several thousand miles on each year. Cole is a 26 year member of an internationally recognized motorcycle club and has the honor of being referenced and a contributor in The American Biker: The History, The Clubs, The Lifestyle, The Truth, by Bill Hayes. Cole met his wife, who now also rides, at an AFR Bike Blessing and he & his wife ride together with their daughters in Dad’s sidecar. Cole is a Biker, who just happens to be a good attorney.