Odds are you’ve seen his face.
Whether it’s on TV or plastered across one of Spokane’s many billboards, attorney Craig Swapp is there. In a suit, and smiling – his teeth pearly white. Sometimes he asks if you’re injured. Other times if you’ve been in an accident.
“One call that’s all,” he often assures. And if you lose, there’s no fee.
It’s the type of slogan-heavy marketing people love to poke fun at – but usually in private and around personal friends.
Not this year. On Sunday, Spokane’s Reddit community dedicated April Fools’ Day to making a meme of the personal injury lawyer with a towering presence in the Inland Northwest.
“He’s pretty much on every major road in Spokane,” said Glenn Tabbert, the subreddit’s moderator of about two years and the mastermind behind the gag. “He would make a perfect meme.”
There was the one user asking for his help after being injured by a duck at Riverfront Park. “Will you take payment in duck eggs?” they asked. Another asking if Swapp could help sue “the pothole department of Spokane.”
“Hi, I’ve tried to make myself heard by complaining about pot holes on any social media outlet available to me but nothing is done about them,” the user wrote.
One crafty user drew inspiration from Japanese poetry, and wrote the attorney a haiku: “Bathed in silver light, Flaming wreckage of my car, Only need one call.”
The attorney, who is based in Salt Lake City and has law offices across Utah, Idaho and Washington, including Spokane Valley, is one of many lawyers nationwide who markets their services to everyday working class people. According to his website, Swapp’s list of services include litigating on vehicle collisions, personal injury claims and product liability.
He did not return calls and emails Monday seeking comment.
He’s spent millions on advertisements on TV and radio and, of course, on billboards.
It’s those posters in the sky that drew Tabbert to the attorney in the first place. He said he often drives by them while on his way home to Liberty Lake, and the joke sort of formed itself. Then the community ran with it.
“Honestly, it turned out better than I thought,” the 28-year-old said. “People started posting about it and I was like, ‘Let’s just roll with it.’ You’re not supposed to take each other seriously on April Fools’ Day anyway.”
The attorney is no stranger to attention. Last year, he made local headlines when a woman sued the Washington State Patrol after she said she was contacted by Swapp’s office five days after she was involved in a vehicle collision. She accused the WSP of violating her privacy in the form of selling information.
Swapp, according to the lawsuit, buys hundreds of accident reports in bulk every month and uses them to contact people offering his services.
In 2011, he was arrested at Salt Lake City International Airport for having a handgun in his carry-on luggage. He told the Salt Lake City Tribune it was a “stupid mistake.”
“I forgot it was even in there,” he told the newspaper. “I wouldn’t subject myself to that intentionally.”
Local journalism is essential.
The journalists of The Spokesman-Review are a part of the community. They live here. They work here. They care. You can help keep local journalism strong right now with your contribution. Thank you.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.