Monday, February 7, 2011

Yes,There Are Limits on Lawyer Advertising

The Fifth Circuit has upheld some Louisiana disciplinary rules restricting lawyer advertising and struck down others as violations of the First Amendment. Here are the highlights from U.S. Law Week online:

 Louisiana's newly adopted disciplinary rules that prohibit lawyers from referring to their past results or depicting a judge or jury in their advertisements are unconstitutional, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit declared Jan. 31 (Public Citizen Inc. v. Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board, 5th Cir., No. 09-30925, 1/31/11).

 In an opinion by Judge Edith Brown Clement, the court also struck down the state's rule that saddled lawyers with extensive disclaimer requirements in marketing their services.

 But three other rules survived First Amendment tests. The court upheld lawyer conduct standards that prohibit promises of results or using nicknames or mottos that imply an ability to obtain results, and that mandate a disclaimer when lawyers use actors or reenactments in their ads.

Here is the full summary.

 I wonder which nicknames are permitted and which are forbidden. That distinction could be an interesting one.


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