Thursday, May 31, 2007

Goofing around - Spoof News

I've got a new hobby, writing "spoof" news articles on My favorite headline so far is Gore Gets Hummer; Tipper Sore, and my favorite story is probably Hillary Clinton Changes Name to Hilary.

I'll probably recover from this illness soon.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

More on attorney advertising and traffic court

I was looking at our Traffic Court directory and noticed an ad (we host Google ads through their AdSense program) from a website I'd seen before -- newjerseytraffictickets -dot- us. They're also at newyorktraffictickets -dot- us. I mentioned it before on another post about attorney websites and ethics. In short, this is a website I think is phony -- it's not really a law firm but rather a scam website.

So I check out their site again and I see, on their "about us" page, a picture of three men in suits -- see below.

Now the page refers to: "Our seven (7) lawyers)", but the photo shows three men in suits. Do these three men work for this firm? Are these the lawyers? Are they lawyers at all? They do look very impressive. However, I think the guy on the left is James Baker and the guy in the middle is Edwin Meese, both of whom worked for President Ronald Reagan.

Check out this photo of that trio:

Correct me if I'm wrong, but apparently this stellar law firm in Woodbridge, NJ, has three former cabinet officials from the Reagan administration working to handle traffic tickets in New Jersey and New York. I do have to admit that a lot of judges would be impressed if James Baker walked into court to handle a speeding ticket. Not only that, somehow this firm has managed to restore all of them to how they looked when they were in the White House 20 years ago. Just amazing!

I was so curious I called the number - 866-907-9722. Result: an automatic voice messaging system for "Traffic Ticket Law Office", and the mailbox is full. I did some more searching and found some law firms in the building, but they don't look like traffic lawyers. More details from my search are in the previous post.

Now that the attorney website rules are in effect, you'd think that our fearless court enforcers would do something about this nonsense, and yet we have seen nothing. And some people are probably actually being hurt by this scumbag website.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Traffic Court Idiots

I hope readers will forgive my anger about this, but I'm just getting annoyed by something with our traffic court website.

If you want to review a page of our site while reading this, it may be helpful. Consider Hudson City Court.

Some time ago, we were getting a number of calls from people who thought we were the court. I didn't think what we were doing then was really confusing, but we still made an effort to make it less confusing.

We used to have the attorney advertisement at the top of the page, on the right side. It was clearly written to look like an advertisement, and it had our toll-free number on it.

Next we redesigned the page so it looks mostly like it looks now. We moved the court phone number to the top of the content, and put it in bold so it would be all that much harder to miss. We moved the attorney advertisement to the third line (after the Google Maps link), and had that ad designated: Defense Lawyer.

That still didn't work completely, as people called thinking we were the public defender, or in some cases they still thought we were the court.

So we revised it again slightly. We changed the "Defense Lawyer" phrase to what we thought was a more obvious "Attorney Advertisement."

And yet I still get calls. Let me be just be clear about why I think these people are idiots, even more so than all I've said.

I get calls from people on Sunday night. It's a toll-free number. What kind of idiot thinks that the courts have toll-free numbers and answer their phones on weekends? Well, apparently, a lot of idiots.

I'm open to any other suggestions on how we can make this clearer on our website. Should we put the words "Attorney Advertisement" in red? Make the real phone number bigger?

There's the numbers side of things. We get 20,000 visitors a month, and growing so we're approaching about 1000 a day on average. If only 1% of these visitors are idiots, that means 10 idiot calls a day.

Comments on this post with suggestions for how to improve the site are welcome (as comments always are on this blog).

Monday, May 14, 2007

Speeding in North Carolina

The News & Observer has an interesting series of articles on speeding in North Carolina.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

New Jersey Traffic Courts

We're really making progress on the traffic court directory. Seven states are under way, and we've now got over half of New Jersey in the database. Notable courts in NJ include Trenton Municipal Court in the capital city and Jersey City Municipal Court in one of the state's largest cities - and just across from Manhattan too.

But wait, there's more. We have several lawyers as prospective advertisers on the site, mostly downstate. And we have plans to add more features to the site. Site traffic is down slightly recently (still over 20K/month), but will probably pick up soon.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Great example of our messed-up criminal justice system

Just noticed this online. If you want a great example of what's wrong with the criminal justice system in America today, check out the real meaning of sex offender. Next time you hear a politician saying we have to be tough on crime, remember who they're talking about - our kids.