Billboard Company Client Sues Akin Gump Over Its Advice on 'Supergraphic' Signs
World Wide Rush, a former client of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, has filed a legal malpractice lawsuit against the firm for dispensing advice that WWR says led to the company’s demise.
WWR retained Akin Gump in 2008 to represent it in the so-called Battle over the Blanketing of Los Angeles, in which municipal authorities clashed with advertisers over the prevalence of supergraphics—multistory ads that hang from the sides of some of the city’s biggest buildings, the Am Law Daily reports.
After a federal district judge ruled that a city ban on supergraphics violated the First Amendment, Akin Gump lawyers advised WWR to “put up signs at as many locations [in Los Angeles] as possible before the city [of Los Angeles] amends its ordinance to impose new bans,” according to the complaint.
However, in May 2010, a three-judge panel from the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the judge had erred in the prior ruling, and the WWR supergraphics had to be removed.
WWR contents in the complaint that it spent nearly $1 million in legal fees and that Akin Gump should have known its advice would lead to civil and criminal complaints against it by government officials. Akin Gump spokeswoman Kathryn Holmes Johnson declined to comment on the suit, according to the Am Law Daily.
ABAJournal.com (January 2009): “New ‘Supergraphic’ Signs Test Calif. Laws”
ABAJournal.com (September 2009): “Federal Judge Sides with LA City Council Over Super-Size Signs”
ABAJournal.com: “City of LA Seeking Fines That Could Add Up to Millions for ‘Supergraphic’ Signs That Had No Permits”