As a follow-up to yesterday’s announcement of a settlement between Pine Tree Legal Assistance and LegalMatch, I have learned that the scope of the settlement agreement extends beyond PTLA to bar LegalMatch from using the name of any legal aid organization and from using the term “legal aid” in any advertising.

Here are the key provisions of the settlement agreement:

“2. LegalMatch Shall Not Use the Disputed Marks. LegalMatch agrees that it shall not use any of the Pine Tree Marks in connection with any Advertising or the sale of any goods or services.

“3. LegalMatch Shall Remove Legal Aid Organizations’ Marks. If LegalMatch uses the name of a non-profit legal-aid organization—or the name of that organization’s website—in LegalMatch Advertising, and if that organization notifies LegalMatch of such a use, LegalMatch agrees that it shall immediately remove, or cause to be removed, such a term or terms from all Advertising.

“4. LegalMatch Shall Not Use the Term ‘legal aid’ in Advertising. LegalMatch agrees that it shall not use the term “legal aid” in any Advertising or the sale of any goods or services, because ‘legal aid’ is a term of art meaning ‘aid provided by an organization established especially to serve the legal needs of the poor.’ If LegalMatch uses the name ‘legal aid’ in LegalMatch Advertising, and if LegalMatch is notified of such a use, LegalMatch agrees that it shall immediately remove, or cause to be removed, such a term or terms from all Advertising.”

I am told that the National Legal Aid & Defender Association will set up a committee to monitor incidents of legal aid cybersquatting.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    If you do a search for “texas legal referral service” on google, msn or yahoo, LegalMatch’s ad pops up with a title of “Texas Legal Aid.” Thus, either your info about the settlement is not correct or LegalMatch is already violating the settlement. My guess, based on LegalMatch’s prior bad acts, is that LegalMatch is already violating the agreement…

  • Anonymous

    I have no complaint with how a company does business if they are meeting the damands of a market. If you think that any large service company didn’t have a rough start, you are dilusional and a poor student of history. —

  • Anonymous

    This site isn’t just starting out. LegalMatch has been around for several years now. So studying history isn’t really necessary, other than looking at legalmatch’s very poor track record.

    CEO goes to jail for breaking into a competitors website, there are numerous complaints about hard sales at inflated prices (as admitted by the CEO, which are currently being litigated in New York as we speak), and now they are caught trying to divert low income persons away from a free legal aid website by claiming to be a free legal aid website? That is the most despicable thing that I can think any company like this could do, even one with’s aweful track record.

    So if the point is that this behavior is acceptable for a start up — or even for a company that has been around like — then I think you might be dilusional and a poor something…

  • Anonymous

    Yup, approval from the FTC and the Utah State Bar are sure indicators that this company is “bad”. Also, no jail time was served and no “financial damage” was ruled against the old CEO. Oh, and the CEO who actually was sued in NY is now the CEO over at “Inflated prices”, for a service FREE TO CLIENTS, pays for the most comprehensive online marketing strategy of any company in this sector. What position do you come up when you type in “find an attorney” in Google? I understand that explaining on the SECOND PAGE of their site that they would eventually have to pay for the services of the attorney they chose to work with is surely dishonorable. How dare attorneys ignore the 70% underserved consumer market, they should be giving away all their services and stop charging ridiculous inflated hourly rates.

  • Anonymous

    Touting that there was “not jail time served” is not exactly an outstanding thing for a company — it just doesn’t make me want to do business with them.

    Also, by trying to say that legalmatch is free is clearly fraudulent, as if you google “legalmatch and complaint” you will see numerous attorneys saying how they got ripped off.

    The cost that attorney have to pay is passed on to consumers — especially the exorbinant costs that attorneys pay for To beleive otherwise is nieve.

    The simple fact is that any attorney can create a basic website and get more business than legalmatch can ever deliver, at a fraction of the cost. In addition, that way the attorney is not being ripped off and the client does not have to pay the increased cost due to their case coming through legalmatch.

  • Anonymous

    I agree. LegalMatch is a rip off. Why pay thousands of dollars for something that you can do via other online means for relatively little? When you factor in their poor ethical track record and hard sale tactics, they should be shut down.


  • Anonymous

    Related, from a consumer perspective:

    In April 2006 I was in need of a lawyer. A lawyer referral service – who shall not to be mentioned here – charged me $99.- for their higher class referral service, and subsequently matched me with a lawyer called “Anthony Michael Nelson”. Mr. Anthony Nelson was representing himself as a CA accredited lawyer utilizing this lawyer referral service. This lawyer turned out to be a fraud, as well as a fugitive on the run. I have lost about $32.500.- in cash dealing with this fake lawyer, plus the hardship that goes along when you are suddenly out $32.500.-

    Here is a link to a website with information in regards to Michael Anthony Nelson.

    Mr. Nelson was arrested the same weekend as I paid him 32.500.- (foolishly).

    When I found out that he was arrested I went to my bank to put a hold on the cahiers check I bought there a couple days earlier. It was verified that the check was not cashed as of the day I went to the bank. Even so I had a news printout of the arrest for Mr. Nelson in my hand, and the person trying to help me to get a stop payment put on the cashiers check, I was told by the bank that their internal banking regulations did not allow for a stop payment on cashiers checks under my circumstances. Needless to say the check was cashed 2 days after I tried to put a stop payment onto the check, and several days after Mr. Nelson was arrested.

    I got shafted 4 times within a week.
    1) By the lawyer referral service
    2) By Michael A. Nelson
    3) By my Bank
    4) The FBI, who gave me the cold shoulder when I called them twice for help. They basically took my phone number down and told me that they would call me if they had any questions for me. Even so the reason for me calling them, were for them helping me to talk to my bank, as to validate a stop payment placed on the Cashiers Check.

    That is my experience with a lawyer referral service.