Old lawyer joke: How do you get a million dollar verdict? By screwing up a case worth two million dollars. You’ve probably never heard of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, but if you see one of its certificates hanging in your personal injury lawyer’s office, it should tell you two things. First, your lawyer obtained a verdict of a million dollars or more. Second, your lawyer is a sucker.
Million Dollar Advocates Forum is the Girls Gone Wild of Lawyer Marketing
As far as money-making schemes go, Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Girls Gone Wild are both brilliant in the way they take advantage of human weakness to create an extremely low cost/high profit business model. Because you are likely more familiar with Girls Gone Wild, I’ll begin my comparison with them. Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis came up with the brilliant concept of videotaping attractive young women in a party environment (usually one involving large amounts of alcohol) and having them expose themselves to show how “hot” they are. He then sold the resulting DVDs and made a fortune. Before Joe, who would have thought that so many pretty girls would be willing to get naked on camera for free (or the price of a t-shirt or baseball cap)? If Joe proved one thing, it’s that human vanity coupled with an environment conducive to poor decision making can create a multi-million dollar media empire.
So how is Girls Gone Wild’s business model similar to that of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum? Well, I should probably start with what the Million Dollar Advocates Forum is.
Million Dollar Advocates Forum – What Is It?
I first heard of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum many years ago, right after I obtained my first multi-million dollar verdict. I received an “invitation” in the mail congratulating me on my verdict and inviting me to apply for membership. All I had to do was submit proof of my verdict and a check for several hundred dollars to obtain my lifetime membership in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, the benefit of which consisted almost entirely of a certificate of membership to hang on my wall. It’s been so long that I can’t remember the exact amount of money they were asking for at the time, but I know it was north of $500.00. I decided to check out their website to see if there was any way they could justify the price they were asking for membership.
As it turns out, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum is not affiliated in any way with any state bar association or the ABA. It was just some California lawyer who made up the group out of thin air as a way to profit from other lawyers’ vanity. What lawyer wouldn’t want to boast about his million dollar verdict via a pretty wall certificate? Plus, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum lists your name on its website. . . which unfortunately your potential clients will never see unless they specifically search for the group. . . which unfortunately, no one’s ever heard of.
Needless to say, I passed on the membership offer.
Million Dollar Advocates Forum Today
There have been some changes to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum since those years ago when I last looked them up. First, the cost of “membership” is now $1,200.00. Second, this clever California lawyer figured out a way to squeeze more money from his existing members by creating a new Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum, open to any lawyer who obtains a verdict of $2 million or more. So, any attorney who joined the Million Dollar Advocates Forum with a multi-million dollar verdict years ago would now need to pay an extra $1,000.00 to be recognized as a Multi-Million Dollar Advocate. This is despite the fact that the lawyer has already provided proof of his multi-million dollar verdict and that all you get for your extra $1,000.00 is another paper certificate.
Did I mention that none of these certificates even come framed? That’s right. Lawyers who join this group are paying about $1,000.00 per page for paper certificates (must be really nice paper). Luckily, if a lawyer with a multi-million dollar verdict wants to join now, he can join both groups for the discounted price of $1,700.00. What a deal!
So How is the Million Dollar Advocates Forum Like Girls Gone Wild?
Like the girls who appear in the Girls Gone Wild videos, the lawyers who join the Million Dollar Advocates Forum are approached at a time of vulnerability which leads to poor decision making. They are euphoric from having just obtained a huge verdict, and they are flush with a large amount of cash which may make the cost of membership seem reasonable. Also, like the girls, lawyers have a predisposition to vanity. The proprietors of both businesses have incredibly low overhead, so most of the money received is pure profit.
So, if you ever see a Million Dollar Advocates Forum certificate hanging in your lawyer’s office, imagine your lawyer drunk, on Bourbon Street, lifting his t-shirt and yelling, “Whoooooooo! Check these out!” Because that’s pretty much what he’s doing.
Announcing My Own Million Dollar Advocates Program
For any lawyers out there who want a fancy certificate touting their million dollar dollar verdict, just send me proof of your verdict and I’ll send you a nice certificate, suitable for framing, for the low low cost of $500.00 (that’s less than half of what you’d pay the Million Dollar Advocates Forum). Or, you could just make your own certificate (it will be just as “official and prestigious” as the one from Million Dollar Advocates Forum). Better yet, how about just typing “Million Dollar Verdict” in a huge font and framing that along with a copy of your verdict form? Bet you never thought of that! That will be $200.00 for that idea.