Ah, one of my favorite topics - lawyer advertising.
Appears the U.S. Supreme Court will not hear the issue of whether New York Lawyers can use nicknames, client testimonials, other messages or images in advertising.
In Cahill v. Alexander, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found that state rules limiting content-based ads violate the First Amendment.
Nathan Koppel over at the WSJ Law Blog states the position of lawyers (like me) who are not fans of advertising:
Attorneys should be able to rely on word of mouth, or sober informative ads, to reach clients, and not the sort of provocative, colorful ads common in other industries, the thinking among some bar officials goes.
My position on lawyer advertising is that I wish it didn't exist. I wish cell phones didn't exist sometimes as well. But with lawyer advertising, you either prohibit it, or rely on rules in existence.
Model Rule 8.4 covers it all:
It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to:
(c) engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation;
Saying you can't do this in print, you can't do this on TV, you can't do this in the mail, and you can't do this on Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Plaxo (anyone really use Plaxo?) is like a dog chasing a tail.
8.4(c). I'm a big fan.
Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint.