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LA plaintiffs firms join Nader in attacking new state publicity rules

On July 3, the Louisiana Supreme Court announced its adoption of comprehensive amendments to lawyer advertising rules in the Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct. The new rules are scheduled to go into effect Dec. 1, 2008. But two Louisiana personal injury firms joined Naderite Public Citizen in a lawsuit filed this week in federal court to challenge the rules on First Amendment grounds.

The rules affect the content of attorneys' advertisements, barring the use of testimonials, actors, reenactments, and dramatizations. Public Citizen objects that this prohibition would be "unthinkable in any other field of commerce." Um, but the practice of law is not a field of commerce, it's a profession, many (including me) would respond.

The only "irremediable" damage the injunction would cause is the pulling of staged ads and the filming of new ones. If the Eastern District of Louisiana applies anything like the standard used by courts in San Francisco (see my earlier posting on that city's tobacco ban) this will be a no-brainer for the defense.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.