Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Association of Professional Responsibiity Lawyers issues report on advertising; calls for changes in the rules

The Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL) recently released a comprehensive report in which it argues that “It is long past time for rationality and uniformity to be brought to the regulation of lawyer advertising,” The report, which was authored by the APRL’s Regulation of Lawyer Advertising Committee, is the culmination of a two-year study of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and various state bar approaches to regulating lawyer advertising.
The report states that the balance between the “core values” of professional responsibility and effective lawyer advertising must be “realigned” to ensure that consumers of legal services have access to accurate information about legal services.  The report also concludes that
Simply stated, current regulations of lawyer advertising are unworkable and fail to achieve their stated objectives.  Survey results show that there are too many state deviations from the ABA Model Rules, actual formal lawyer discipline imposed for advertising violations is rare, lawyers are disheartened by the burden of attempting to determine which regulations apply to the ever-changing technological options for advertising, and consumers of legal services want more, not less, information about legal services.  The basic problem with the current state patchwork of lawyer advertising regulations lies with the increasingly complex array of inconsistent and divergent state rules that fail to deal with evolving technology and innovations in the delivery and marketing of legal service  The state hodge-podge of detailed regulations also present First Amendment and antitrust concerns in restricting the communication of accurate and useful information to consumers of legal services.
 For more on the report go here and here.

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