The Connecticut Law Tribune’s Tom Scheffey interviews me for his article today, ‘Duby-ous News’?, which follows up on a controversy I previously wrote about at’s Legal Blog Watch surrounding a PR consultant’s role in a law firm’s staged news program.

The half-hour program features two partners from Hartford’s Shipman & Goodwin being interviewed about a recent $12.4 million jury win in an eminent domain case against the town of Branford, Conn. Conducting the interview is the firm’s PR consultant, Duby McDowell, a former TV journalist. In the video, she is identified as “Duby McDowell, WFSB Political Analyst,” but never as a paid PR consultant for the lawyers being interviewed. Her “co-host” in interviewing the two lawyers, Tanya Meck, is identified as a former planning and zoning chair in West Hartford, without any mention that she, too, is a paid PR consultant.

In the comments to the Legal Blog Watch post, the firm wrote a response in which it says, among other points, “No reasonable person could have thought that the video was an WFSB news program.”

One footnote to all this: The CLT article quotes one person who questions the whole idea of a law firm creating a Web page and a video to explain a court victory. Given the controversy this victory created — it was an eminent domain case and taxpayers would have to foot the bill — I think the firm’s creation of an explanatory Web page was a good idea. I even think the video was a good idea. My one concern is that the video was produced in a manner that made it misleading, especially when the video was taken from the context of the Web page and broadcast over local cable-access stations. But the Web page was a good idea, from a PR point of view.

Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division.