2nd Circuit Says OK to 'Heavy Hitter' Attorney Ads
On Friday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected attorney advertising restrictions put in place in 2007 by the State of New York. The opinion can be found here.
Among the prohibitions that the court struck down as First Amendment no-nos were those barring "portrayals of judges" and "trade names or nicknames that imply an ability to get results." The court did uphold a 30-day moratorium on solicitation of accident victims and a ban on the use of "fictitious names" implying that attorneys are members of the same firm.
It's an interesting case in that the attorneys challenging the restrictions affirmatively argued that the speech at issue was "irrelevant, unverifiable, [and] non-informational," and thus, not inherently false or misleading. Alexander & Catalano, the plaintiffs firm that was itself a plaintiff in this case, has trademarked the phrase "The Heavy Hitters," and has archived its TV commercials on its Web site. Barring an appeal to the Supreme Court, The Heavy Hitters are free to continue having actors portray judges and using thunder and lightning special effects in those ads.
Perhaps it's time for Adam "Bulletproof" Reposa to open a New York office.
Posted by Eric Lipman on March 15, 2010 at 02:07 PM | Permalink
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