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Rule Against Advertising Past Results is Past

Lawyers in Florida can now advertise past results in their advertising. The rules prohibited using past results in lawyer advertising in indoor and outdoor display, television and radio. However, a federal court held that the state ethics rules were unconstitutional and in violation of the First Amendment.

The rules weren’t just thrown out. They were blasted out. Read Larry Bodine’s article at LawPracticeAdvisor to find out just how embarrassing this was to the Florida Bar.
The ruling was a devastating blow to the Florida Bar and every other state attempting to regulate lawyer advertising with many rules which often seem unconstitutional.

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Toys, Fast Food & Advertising Regulations

The city of San Francisco doesn’t want children to get a toy with their meal at a fast food restaurant if they want french fries. However the city would allow them to get a toy if they eat something healthy (within their nutritional guidelines).

This could be just the right thing to save children from a lifetime of diabetes and heart disease, at least in theory. Or this could yet another example of regulators with a lack of marketing knowledge. It just might take the marketing people at McDonald’s, Burger King and other fast food chains at least 15 minutes here or there to come up with marketing ideas to get around the problem.

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What does the image of lawyers have to do with Lays potato chips?

Today, a friend who is a collection lawyer in New Jersey, told me a story about a woman who he represented for free. The woman was previously represented by a New York lawyer in the Bronx who stole her entire $25,000 settlement. The client, on her own, obtained a default judgment against the lawyer but was unable to collect any money. My friend successfully obtained reimbursment for her from the New York State attorney-client fund.

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Strict new lawyer advertising ethics rules are being proposed in New York. Will you have to redesign your ads?

Strict new lawyer advertising ethics rules are being proposed in New York, I suppose to improve the image of lawyers in the eyes of the public. The rules will become effective November 1, 2006. Will new lawyer advertising ethics rules have any effect on shaping the look of lawyer advertising or improving the image of lawyers? It depends upon the creativity of the lawyer or the advertising agency.

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When Facing Possible Disciplinary Action, Avoid Using Billboards

It has been reported that Cellino & Barnes, a law firm in western New York, has approximately 150 billboards advertising their law firm. Of course, the law firm name of Cellino & Barnes is prominently displayed on the billboards. Recently, one of its principal attorneys Ross M. Cellino was suspended for six months from the practice of law.

The Appellate Division, 4th Department said that an attorney who is suspended cannot hold himself out as a lawyer. Consequently, the law firm changed its name to The Barnes Firm and and will now have to change every one of its billboards. At a cost of approximately $1,000 in printing and installation costs to change a large billboard, this will cost the law firm just a few dollars to change approximately 150 billboards.

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Basic Ethics For Lawyer Advertising

Lawyers have several sets of rules to consider when creating advertisements. The FTC regulates all advertising in every state; each state may have its own regulations concerning general advertisers; and the attorney ethics rules of the state in which you are advertising will regulate lawyer advertising. A review of FTC rules can be seen at Advertising FAQ’s: A Guide for Small Business and at Advertising and Marketing. Most rules are just plain common sense and are meant to protect the

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