The Price of Free Speech: California Attorney Posts Widely Denounced Advertisement With Sexy Doll

YouTube Screenshot
YouTube Screenshot
I have previously written about how some attorneys continue to ignore bar standards encouraging firms to show basic professionalism and decorum in advertising. While we all agree that there is a free speech right to advertise, the vast majority of lawyers show great restraint in deference to the standards of our profession. Then there are people like Michael A. Fiumara. Fiumara of Santa Rosa has posted a juvenile advertisement featuring a sexually suggestive doll in his effort to win the race to the bottom among low-grade lawyers.

The video features Fiumara with the doll who responds with phrases like “Oooh, baby, it’s so big!” to his play performed scene of speaking with a client. While people are expressing disgust and attorneys calling his antics “sick” and embarrassing, Fiumara seems to relish the attention, even negative attention. He plans a sequel.

After the doll makes a sexual suggestion, he tells her that he has to end the conversation and refer her to another attorney, because the California Rules of Professional Conduct forbid him to have sex with clients. There was a time when the same bar forbade this type of sophomoric advertisement, of course. Fiumara is regrettably the price for free speech. A very very high price.

Source: ABA Journal

22 thoughts on “The Price of Free Speech: California Attorney Posts Widely Denounced Advertisement With Sexy Doll”

  1. Two bottom of the bilge lawyers hail from Saint Louis and made the news this week in a Supreme Court opinion. Eric Butts and another named HorrorWitz had been appointed by the federal court to represent a death row convicted defendant. They did not visit him or talk to him for a year. They did not file proper habeas claims on time. Disgrace to the human race much less to the Bar in Missoura.

  2. His error is that it wasn’t funny. For some reason, lawyers that try to make humorous ads just wind up making garbage. Oh well, that’s what happens than there are more workers in an occupation than the market demands, they do anything to raise their income. It’s not as bad as the lawyer in Chicago that sued a dead teenager because his mutilated torso struck a pedestrian when he was ripped into tiny bits by a high speed train.

  3. Sandi, In the vast majority of cases you are correct. But, there are some good plaintiff’s attorneys I know who advertise. The ads are tasteful.

  4. I assume advertising brings clients, but I’d never call them. The ones I really dislike are talking about joining class action suits for sicknesses or injuries. If lawyers advertise to get clients, I assume they aren’t very good.

  5. What advertising has done is show the depravity of many officers of the court. In that respect, it is good. I know many dickwads like this guy. Worked for a few, but only once!

  6. It’s just an incredibly lousy ad with a stupid premise, odd tangential dialogue, and even odder nonverbal behavior from the attorney. I expect the marketplace will judge him. If he wants to play the irreverent maverick PR game, let him as long as he doesn’t breach ethical canons. I don’t see this ad as unethical, just pathetic. Other attorneys can actually make themselves appear even more professional and decorous by allowing him to continue to permeate the airwaves.

  7. Seems we have a malcontent contrarian roaming the blog this morning. He’s 0-3 this morning. LOL!

  8. I don’t see why you are so concerned about this little breach of decorum since it used to be true that lawyers had to be citizens, or at least free from continuing to commit crimes as practicing attorneys. Remember that in CA the CA Supreme Court ruled that a lawyer can practice law while being in violation of immigration laws and committing further crimes in that realm. I think that spitting on our laws is a bit more outrageous that this ad.

    Maybe Prof Turley will address that problem which I think is of more importance than this trivial pursuit.

  9. Look at all the lame lawyers around Saint Louis County. None of them can figure it out that the corrupt towns like Velda Village and Breckenridge Hills are stealing property from citizens when they pull them over for a tail light. None of the lawyers have read up on the Civil Rights Statute often discussed by this dog on this blog. Maybe they should also read The Taking Clause of the Fifth Amendment. They spend all their time competing with each other for divorce clients. Its a disgrace to the profession worth talking about. This doll flirt dork is just a diversion.

  10. Listen to the words:

    “Doesn’t discriminate”
    “Takes difficult clients”
    Demonstrates he’s ethical by saying it would violate the Rules of Professional Conduct to have sex with a client.
    Other law firms send difficult cases to him.
    He gets results – “$10 million verdict”, “$5million settlement”
    He invokes the “Rules of Professional Conduct” a second time to say he has to end the conversation with the toy. Very ethical lawyer.

    Pretending to have a conversation with a sex doll is bizarre gimmick. But the actual words he speaks are not controversial at all.

  11. 95% of attorneys give the rest a bad name.

    Seriously, so what? He tells his potential clients exactly what he is. Up to them to hire him or not.

    Attorneys cover the spectrum; somebody has to be at the bottom.

  12. And we know he won’t have sex with his clients. Two stikes against him.

  13. First, attorneys were ‘too good’ to advertise, now they want to control the content of the advertisements. Really!!!! The guy has a sense of humor and they want to disbar him.

  14. Ewww…and the guy is married, too. I wonder what his wife thinks of this. How embarrassing for her.

  15. You can’t make this stuff up, or if you did it would seem unrealistic. The writers of Breaking Bad didn’t even go this far.

    There are several parts of human brain performance, capabilities, call it what you will; this guy obviously has the parts necessary to obtain a law degree and pass the bar but as is the case with a lot of lawyers, his ego has taken him a considerable distance from a balance, vis a vis all those parts. He is a few parts short a load.

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