Friday, October 14, 2011

Florida Lawyer Advertising Rules Relaxed

Restrictions placed on manipulative ads or background noises other than instrumental music by The Florida Bar violate lawyer's First Amendment rights, according to Florida federal judge Marcia Morales Howard.

The recent ruling came in a 2008 lawsuit filed by Jacksonville plaintiffs’ lawyer William Harrell Jr., who persistently challenged the constitutional aspects of Florida's attorney advertising guidelines.

As Florida lawyers are well aware, the state is one of the most restrictive in the country in regard to legal marketing promotions. Lawyers who are licensed in other states but seek business in Florida are also subject to The Florida Bar's scrutiny.

For those of you who are curious, click the following link to read The Florida Bar's 92-page! Handbook on Lawyer Advertising and Solicitation, now in its 9th edition.

This ruling is most likely to affect personal injury attorneys, who advertise aggressively to consumers across multiple marketing campaigns (TV, radio, print, Internet, etc.). The ruling does not change the requirement that most ads and direct mail campaigns need to be filed with The Florida Bar prior to or simultaneous with first use.

If you have questions about legal marketing in Florida or other states, contact the @RainmakingLady via our website.