Monday, January 31, 2011

Fifth Circuit issues opinion on constitutionality of advertising rules

The Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has issued an opinon (available here) on the constitutionality of lawyer advertising rules in Louisiana. Here is a list of the rules that were challenged on appeal:

Rule 7.2(c)(1)(D) prohibiting communications that “contain[] a reference or testimonial to past successes or results obtained, except as allowed in the Rule regulating information about a lawyer’s services provided upon request;”

Rule 7.2(c)(1)(E) prohibiting communications that “promise[] results;”

Rule 7.2(c)(1)(I) prohibiting communications that “include[] a portrayal of a client by a non-client without disclaimer of such, as required by Rule 7.2(c)(10), or the depiction of any events or scenes or pictures that are not actual or authentic without disclaimer of such, as required by Rule 7.2(c)(10);”

Rule 7.2(c)(1)(J) prohibiting communications that “include[] the portrayal of a judge or a jury;”

Rule 7.2(c)(1)(L) prohibiting communications that “utilize[] a nickname, moniker, motto or trade name that states or implies an ability to obtain results in a matter;”

Rule 7.2(c)(10) requiring “[a]ny words or statements required by these Rules to appear in an advertisement or unsolicited written communication must be clearly legible if written or intelligible if spoken aloud. All disclosures and disclaimers required by these Rules shall be clear and conspicuous. Written disclosures and disclaimers shall use a print size at least as large as the largest print size used in the advertisement or unsolicited written communication, and, if televised or displayed electronically, shall be displayed for a sufficient time to enable the viewer to easily see and read the disclosure or disclaimer. Spoken disclosures and disclaimers shall be plainly audible and spoken at the same or slower rate of speed as the other spoken content of the advertisement. All disclosures and disclaimers used in advertisements that are televised or displayed electronically shall be both spoken aloud and written legibly.”

Thanks to the Legal Ethics Forum for the update and links.

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