Internet Lawyer: Consumer Advocate or Devil’s Advocate?

By November 17, 2009Internet Lawyer

grandparentsSome cannot understand how one can simultaneously represent some of the biggest Internet info product marketers while attacking others for unethical conduct. A public relations stunt? Loose cannon? What the heck is going on?

To understand the what, you’ll need to learn the why I’m about to share with you for the first time.

My grandparents and great-aunt instilled old-fashioned ethics in me from childhood. They grew up during the Great Depression and spent their working lives as blue collar employees. To them, “get-rich-quick” meant the stock market crash of 1929, massive unemployment, and doing without.

If I could sum up their views on how to live, it would be these words: “Do what is right.”

Have I always done the right thing? Of course not.

Like you, I’m human and have made mistakes (and hopefully learned enough not to repeat them).

But doing what is right is the goal post that I aim for each and every day.

Is there a conflict between representing “big gurus” and doing what is right? Not if the goal of those gurus is also to do the right thing.

Do these clients make mistakes? Of course. They’re human too.

And if there comes a time where a business decision is made to profit from knowingly doing wrong to clients, that’s where the attorney-client relationship quickly comes to an end.

Some claim that I’ve been too harsh on certain marketers who have engaged in fraudulent and deceptive business practices. But there is a difference. Those marketers who I’ve publicly criticized for such misconduct have not made a mistake. They’ve chosen a way of doing business that is designed to profit by taking advantage of others.

Exposing these Internet scams is done because it is the right thing both for consumers and honest online business owners who shouldn’t be tarnished by association with the so-called “guru” marketers.

This holiday season will be a tough one for me. My grandparents have passed away. In recent years, my great-aunt has been the sounding board that invariably answers “do the right thing.” Now terminally ill, I’ll be visiting with her for the last time this Thanksgiving.

I hope that in the coming years, I live up to her expectations to do what’s right. If that means offending some scam artists masquerading online as gurus, so be it.

Do old-fashioned ethics have a place in the way we do business with each other on the Internet? Absolutely.

That’s why a group of Internet marketers committed to doing the right thing has just formed the Internet Ethics Council. If you’re truly committed to treating your clients with courtesy and respect, you’ll want to join us.

Author Mike Young, Esq.

Mike Young has been practicing business and technology law since 1994 and is an angel investor in startups. He's been an entrepreneur since 1988. To get legal help from Attorney Young, click here now or call 214-546-4247 to schedule a phone consultation.

More posts by Mike Young, Esq.