Lawyer’s Faxes Didn’t Violate Law, NY High Court Says
Posted Jun 12, 2009 1:04 PM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A lawyer who faxed unsolicited information about legal malpractice cases to another lawyer didn’t violate the law, New York’s highest court has ruled.
The faxes by Andrew Lavoott Bluestone had news about malpractice issues and trends, and contained his contact information. An intermediate appellate court had ruled Bluestone violated a federal law that bars unsolicited ads, but the New York Court of Appeals reversed, the New York Law Journal reports.
The Court of Appeals said the faxes didn’t violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act because they were informational rather than promotional.
Bluestone’s lawyer, Scott Greenfield, said yesterday’s ruling sets an important precedent for lawyers. "It establishes that they, too, have a First Amendment right to speech instead of being branded as advertisers," he told the New York Law Journal. A ruling to the contrary would have had "terrible implications" for lawyers who blog or write articles for the media, he said.