drug recalls, class action suits, and other legal issues LegalTube Blog LegalTube Blog
commentary on all the latest legal news
Legal Links Legal Links
more legal resources to help you find what you need
Press Room Press Room
view the latest press releases from legaltube.com
Member Login
New? FREE Sign up
Attorney Login
New? Sign up


LegalTube Blog

Can Lawyers Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound?

 Permanent link

 The U.S. Supreme Court just declined to hear an appeal  from a 2nd Circuit case from earlier this year, presumably giving the nod to the Appeals Court’s decision to allow law firm slogans and ads that might contain a touch of exaggeration. The original case followed a set of new rules established in 2007 in New York that prohibited some types of attorney advertising – for example, attention-getting techniques unrelated to attorney competence or nicknames implying an ability to get results. A law firm challenged the rule on First Amendment grounds.

The plaintiffs’ commercials prior to the adoption of the new rules included dramatizations and comical scenes – such as the partners towering over buildings, speeding to a client’s house in a blur, or providing legal assistance to space aliens. And the firm’s frequently used slogan referred to them as “heavy hitters.”

The Court of Appeals agreed largely with the original District Court ruling for the case, finding in favor of the plaintiffs. The decision  (PDF) turned in part on the fact that what the New York rules were trying to regulate – the “irrelevant” or “unverifiable” rather than the deceptive or misleading, which would have put the restrictions beyond the scope of First Amendment scrutiny. The one provision that they did allow to stand was that which disallowed depiction of fictitious law firms.

In the end, the ruling appealed to common sense – that given the prevalence of special effects and humorous exaggeration in advertising and entertainment, ordinary individuals simply wouldn’t be misled into thinking that the characteristics depicted in the advertisements were accurate. In other words, if a commercial shows a lawyer being faster than a speeding bullet, leaping tall buildings in a single bound, or dealing with the legal problems of aliens, a potential client probably isn’t going to expect those kinds of “out of this world” results.

So for now, that New York law firm can go back to being the “heavy hitters.” They and other attorneys in the state (or in others such as Florida  that have strict advertising regulations) will just have to be careful that when making claims that are potentially misleading, they can be backed with disclaimers or similar safeguards.

Hi this is dolly. Your trusted, comprehensive resource for locating lawyers and law firms nationwide that can help you with any of your legal issues.
Posted by: dollymake( Visit ) at 3/13/2011 11:19 PM

Hi this is dolly, Can Lawyers Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound? what do you think reply me.
Posted by: dollymake( Visit ) at 3/16/2011 11:31 PM

The ruling appealed to common sense – that given the prevalence of special effects and humorous exaggeration in advertising and entertainment.
Posted by: dollymake( Visit ) at 3/16/2011 11:34 PM

RSS Feed
<< October 2018 >>
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      

Recent Posts


You must be a member to participate. Please login or register at the top of the page.