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Trying to whitewash
her DWI practice, and harassing us
by Michael Bluejay | April 26,
For many years I've had a page listing personal
injury lawyers who specialize in helping bicyclists.
Next to one of them, Lenore Shefman, I noted, "Personally,
I'm a little put off that she also defends drunk drivers."
(Her multiple websites aggressively courted drunk-driving clients,
and she even secured domain names like DUIattorneysBayArea.com,
But now that she's apparently given up that area of her
practice, she's trying to weasel out of her history.
A few months ago she wrote to me to complain about my listing her
as defending drunk drivers and asking me to take that bit down,
saying, "[O]nce upon a time ago an
ex public defender was 'of counsel' with my office and
represented criminal defendants of all sorts. There is no record
of me in ATX representing any drunk drivers nor having any
clients, thus this is a misrepresentation." What
Shefman conveniently failed to mention in her message was that:
I was originally put off about her courting DUI clients,
but she really took it to the next level by trying to disavow
it. It might have been another matter had she
approached me and said, "We used to do DUI defense, but I was
never really comfortable with it, and so I'm not doing that any
more." But she didn't say anything remotely like that;
instead she tried to deny her culpability about her decision to
aggressively court DUI offenders.
- She aggressively courted drunk
driving clients, whether she handled those
cases personally or not.
- This fishing for DWI clients wasn't just done under
the banner of her law firm, but under her own personal name
as well, Lenore Shefman. So it's kind of
silly for her to try to pass the buck onto someone who worked
in her office, since she willingly agreed
to make DUI defense a focus of her firm,
including marketing it under her own name, including under her
own Attorney Profile.
- She still advertises her DUI defense services on
her own websites, today. So
she's complaining about my listing her as DUI lawyer, at the
same time she lists herself as a DUI lawyer.
That's some chutzpah, for sure.
Anwyay, she somehow imagined that I would just completely
remove the bit on my site to her DUI practice, as though she'd
never had one, which is just silly. If I updated
the page, I would haved simply tweaked it from "I'm put off that
she defends drunk drivers" to the almost identical "I'm put off
about her history of courting drunk-driving clients." The
difference is negligible, from the perspective of what I'm
actually put off about. But with literally thousands of
messages in my In Box, coddling a lawyer trying to disavow her
history wasn't a big priority for me (especially since Shefman's
own sites continue to identify her DUI practice), so making the
minor edit to my site wasn't very high on my To-Do list.
Well, it turns out that Shefman is actually a big donor to
a certain bicycle advocacy group, so when I didn't
reply to her request that I excise the bit on my site about her
defending drunks, she wrote to the head that group, to see if he'd
put some pressure on me to remove the reference. She
apparently tried to pull the wool over his eyes with misleading
wording, referring to "... the
improper info about me defending drunk drivers. It is not true
and he [Bluejay] should really take it down."
So I replied to him with a laundry list of examples of how
Shefman both aggressively marketed herself as a DUI lawyer
(or at least allowed her partner to use her name for such), and
how third parties listed her as a DUI lawyer, including:
Her own websites
advertising her DUI defense
I don't know which is sadder: Shefman's
attempt to whitewash her history, or her belief that I would buy
into her bullshit arguments about why I should help her do
so. In any event, the summary couldn't be clearer:
- On a "Practice Areas" page, the very first thing under
"Areas of Practice...Criminal Defense" is "DUI/DWI
Defense". This page was up and live the very day
she wrote to the bike group to complain about my site
listing her as a DUI lawyer.
- There's also an
entire page devoted entirely to DUI defense, live
on the net the same day she wrote to complain about
being branded as a DWI lawyer.
both of which identified her by her personal name (Lenore
Shefman) and then went straight into the pitch for DUI
defense, peppered with phrases like "Lawyer
up!" and "We fight
Under "Attorney Profile: Lenore Rae Shefman", it says, "Most
of her practice is dedicated to bicycle accidents, the
construction defect of swimming pools, and
DUI/DWI/Marijuana Defense." (As I write this,
that page is still up, as are six other pages on
that site referencing DUI defense, including a dedicated
page soley about DUI/DWI.)
A testimonial reads, "When I
asked Lenore to advice [sic] my brother charged with a
DUI, she helped my brother and parents navigate the San
Jose court system in the most efficient and cost-effective
manner." The testimonial was posted Feb. 7,
2013, and as I write this, it's still up.
The page "Attorney Profile: Lenore Rae Shefman" lists
"DWI/DUI" in the menu. As I write this, that page is
- Her Twitter account,
still up that same day she wrote to complain, listing her
personal name (Lenore Shefman), along with the tagline, "Bay
Area DUI Defense Firm". The only tweet there, under
the name Lenore Shefman, says, "Let
us know if we can help with your DUI case and we would be
happy to assist you."
which read in part:
"In California, DUI is a serious offense that carries
severe punishment and fines. You need an experienced DUI
attorney to protect your interests.... The power of having
a skilled and determined attorney will make all the
difference in either exonerating you of the charges
against you or negotiating a plea. If you have been
arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or
other substances, contact the Shefman Law Group. Our DUI
attorneys have extensive experience in the practice of
criminal DUI law and can also assist you with the
associated DMV hearing....The Shefman Law Group will fight
to make sure you are not treated unfairly and that you are
provided the best defense....Practicing in all nine
surrounding San Francisco counties, we fight to win!"
Her promotion of
her DUI practice elsewhere
- Law Guru has
eight separate "Drunk Driving & DUI Law Questions
Answered by Lenore Shefman".
- In the first question, the questioner admitted to both
drinking and smoking marijuana while driving, and asked if
they should fight the charges, and Shefman's answer
started, "Excellent. Call
us immediately, in our SF office."
- In another, the answer included, "Contact
us so we can explore reducing, and/or dismissing the
charges against you or work on getting an acquittal."
- In another, Shefman advised, "You
have to be careful that you do not get an attorney who
will just plea your case.... So, if you ad up the
surcharges ($1000 yr x 3 years), the probation costs,
the counseling costs, the drug testing, the SR-22
insurance, etc. etc. you will be doing yourself a favor
by getting an attorney who is not afraid of the
courtroom. If you would like to give us a call our phone
number is on our websites: Shefman Law Group at
listing her as a DUI lawyer, live on the web the same day
she wrote to complain
Since Shefman had complained that what I wrote about her
defending drunks was "improper and untrue",
"Lenore Rae Shefman: Practice Areas - 100% DUI/DWI"
- Law Guru:
"Lenore Shefman: Areas of Practice: ... Drunk
Driving & DUI Law"
"Main Area: DUI Defense"
- Attorney Fee:
"Lenore Shefman is a DUI Defense Attorney"
- Yahoo! Local:
"Shefman, Lenore Attorney...Categories: ... DUI Lawyers
... Products and Services: ... DUI/DWI"
mentioned in my reply to the bicycle group director that if she
really felt that was the case, of course she could try her luck
suing me, but that given the evidence I figured she'd be laughed
out of court. I cc'd Shefman on the reply.
Shefman's reply to me was priceless:
am in receipt of your responses and your lack of
understanding how the internet and caches work." [!]
So, at the risk of pointing out the obvious:
But it doesn't end there, she also threatened to sue me
- The pages from four of her own websites (including her
main site), her Twitter account, Law Guru, and the five
other third-party sites I cited were not cached
copies, they were live, direct from the server, on the very
same day she wrote to the bike advocacy group to complain
about my site. Most of them are still up and live as I
- Whether or not they were cached couldn't be less
relevant. The point is, Shefman aggressively
marketed herself as a DUI lawyer (or at the very least
allowed a partner to do so, using Shefman's own personal
(which is why I decided to put up this page):
also understand you have requested that in order for me to
remedy your false claims that I am a DUI/DWI lawyer or
represent that population that I sue you for libel.
Given your capacity to be extraordinary I can oblige your
request. I am certain I would not be laughed out of
Again, to point out the obvious, I absolutely never requested
that she sue me.
(What kind of person asks
to be sued?!) I just pointed out that she could try but
that I expected any such attempt to fail miserably. But
more to the point, after she advertises herself
DUI lawyer, she's now threatening to sue
identifying her as one! Wow.
But there's more:
also think it is a shame that you want to sully our name
when we are the first and only law firm to forge any
alliances with MADD or any other advocacy group against
drinking and driving on behalf of the cycling community."
Oh dear god.
If it sullies Shefman's
name to be identified as defending drunk drivers, then why
the hell did she choose to defend drunk drivers?!
Shouldn't she take some responsibility for her decision to take
DUI clients, rather than, you know, blaming someone else for
pointing out that she chose to take DUI clients? And
again, Shefman herself is currently
herself as a DUI lawyer, on her various websites.
Anyway, if Shefman is now actually working to combat
drunk driving then that's great,
but based on my
interactions with her I'm more than a little suspcious that any
support might just be her trying to buy some credibility (if
she's actually doing any real anti-DWI work at all).
Sadly, Shefman hadn't exhausted her ridiculous comments
is on the internet is not a representation of how I have
held myself out, you should know this. You have quoted sites
such as AVVO etc. and these are consumer sites not sites
where I or any of my representatives have listed myself nor
Which completely ignores the fact that she
advertised/advertises herself as a DUI lawyer on her own
- Her Twitter account
- If Lenore Shefman didn't actually handle DUI cases (and I
don't know that she didn't), it was certainly from no lack of
trying, with her multiple websites advertising her DUI
business, with her own personal name (not just her firm's
- I will not be bullied by sleazy lawyers into censoring
factual information about them.
Update, May 8, 2013
Based on a forum
post I made about this issue, Shefman sent me the following
predictably ridiculous message:
As we discussed and as you are aware my office has not
represented criminal cases of any kind in years. Therefore you
are well informed what you are publishing is untrue. The very
definition of libel is purposefully publishing untrue
statements a fact easily proven through the court registers
and even your own screen shots are of cached websites that we
have dates they were live and dates they were replaced.
Clearly from your own emails and your postings your point is
to damage my reputation as a personal injury attorney
representing victims and their families of DWI/DUI and to
publicly question my veracity because of some things you have
found in the Internet that clearly I have no control over.
This seems to be a personal attack you have mounted to do
nothing more than harm my reputation as a bike crash personal
injury attorney. I clearly appreciate the work defense
attorneys do to represent those accused, that is simply not
what I do not has anyone in my employ since 2006-7 when Mr.
Burnham left my practice.
This was forwarded to me and I find I am having to engage
publicly in your personal attacks. Therefore there is starting
to be an affect [sic] and you are personally attacking my
integrity which I take grave umbrage at such attacks.
I am asking in one last effort to meet and confer on this
topic that you remove content that you know to be false and
Before this article, Shefman's initial response was to try to
claim that her current websites were actually cached copies, and
to threaten to sue me. Then when I posted my article, her
response was...to try to claim that her current websites were
actually cached copies, and to threaten to sue me.
I didn't reply to her. And again, to point out the obvious:
- I never published anything untrue. Shefman
aggressively courted drunk driving clients, and I reported
that fact. End of story.
- The pages I identified as current were not cached
copies. In fact, some of them are still up, even as
I type this. And even if they were cached, that's
irrelevant to the fact that Shefman aggressively courted DUI
- "...because of some things you
have found in the Internet that clearly I have no control
over." She doesn't have any control over her
own websites?! Hello?
- Shefman is again suggesting she will sue me by laying out
the definition of libel. When your only tool is a
hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
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