Legal Marketing

Warning: N.Y. Ad Rules May Apply

A Philadelphia bar official is warning Pennsylvania law firms they would be well-advised to comply with New York’s new advertising rules.

Paul Kazaras, assistant executive director of the Philadelphia Bar Association, told a marketing group that firms expecting to get out-of-state business should study and follow the rules, the Legal Intelligencer reports.

The rules, which took effect Feb.1, consider Web sites to be advertising and require law firms to label their home pages as an advertisement. They also ban testimonials by current clients or paid endorsements, prohibit depictions of courtrooms, and bar unauthentic re-enactments.

Some lawyers, though, hope to overturn the rules. Public Citizen Litigation Group and a personal injury law firm challenged the rules as a violation of the First Amendment in a federal lawsuit, Associated Press reports.

Gregory Beck of Public Citizen argued in a Syracuse courtroom last week that the lawsuits are apparently motivated by a distaste for certain ads rather than consumer protection.

“This idea that television somehow brainwashes people doesn’t make any logical sense,” he said. “They are adults, able to make their own decisions.”

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