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Judge rules N.Y. lawyer-ad rules unconstitutional

Big victory for Public Citizen, and defeat for the New York state bar:

Citing the First Amendment, an upstate federal judge is allowing lawyers to once again televise gimmicky ads, scrapping the efforts of top state judges who banned much attorney advertising in the name of the dignity of the legal profession.

A decision yesterday sides with a Syracuse personal injury firm, Alexander & Catalano, whose television spots featured its lawyers consulting with space aliens over a dented flying saucer, and sprinting at superhuman speeds to reach clients. The eight-attorney firm has not aired these ads since February, when a statewide ban went into effect on advertisements that use attention-grabbing gimmicks, such as portraying lawyers "exhibiting characteristics clearly unrelated to legal competence."

More: WSJ Law Blog, Giacalone. Earlier: May 22, etc.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.