U.S. Court of Appeals rules New York Attorney Advertising Rules: UNCONSTITUTIONAL

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I have been speaking about this for the past month… on Friday, Mark Bullock & I will be presenting a CLE seminar to the New York State Council for Divorce Mediation. We will be sharing many marketing techniques for up and coming divorce mediators. Many of them are practicing attorneys, and thus must comply with the attorney advertising codes of ethics.

March 12, 2010: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruling: New York’s lawyer advertising rules are unconstitutional
http://www.law.com/jsp/nylj/PubArticleFriendlyNY.jsp?id=1202446174823&hbxlogin=1

HERE’S MY SUMMARY OF THEIR RULING:

  • Actors can portray judges but not fictitious law firms
  • Testimonials from current clients relating to pending matters are OK
  • Attention-getting techniques unrelated to attorney competence are OK (except claims that cannot be measured/verified)
  • Nicknames, Mottos, Trade Names, & Logos – even implying results – are OK

UPHELD – Moratorium on targeted advertising

Of course, the ABA professional responsibility Attorney Advertising disclaimers remain:
For example, when using testimonials, etc., attorneys should use what I call “The Weightwatchers Disclaimer”: Prior results do not imply future results.

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