5th Cir. Eases La. Attorney Ad Rules, OKs Endorsements, Some Slogans
Posted Jan 31, 2011 4:34 PM CST
By Martha Neil
Finding that a blanket ban on results-oriented attorney advertising violates the First Amendment, the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today struck down a challenged Louisiana rule of professional conduct that prohibited testimonials and factual information about results achieved in prior representations.
And a three-judge appellate panel also found excessive a complete prohibition on portraying a judge or a jury in attorney advertising, explaining in a written opinion (PDF) that such advertising is not inherently misleading.
However, the panel OK'd a rule prohibiting the use of nicknames, monikers, trade names and mottos that imply an ability to obtain results, finding that the rule was narrowly drafted to achieve this specific purpose rather than prohibiting the use of all such slogans. And it gives examples of such material that does and does not pass muster, such as 'We Work Hard for You' (permissible) and "We Break the Rules for You!" (not).
Hat tip: Associated Press.
La. State Bar Association: "Lawyer Advertising"