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Bloggers Keep On Blogging Out Against N.Y.'s Proposed Advertising Rules

Back in June, my colleague Bob Ambrogi first covered news of New York's proposed advertising gag rules. Among other things, the proposed rules would classify most attorney blogs as "advertising," thereby subjecting attorneys to the prior restraint rule that requires submission of all changes to ads prior to publication. As a practical matter, requiring advance approval for blog posts defeats the very point of the blog, which is its ability to deliver current information almost instantaneously. (Of course, the thought of a staffer reviewing the hundreds of blog posts likely to be submitted daily is kind of amusing; that thought alone ought to suffice to quash the proposal).

In any event, the controversy over the New York rules hasn't abated. As with every other irrational action that hits the blogosphere, criticism of the proposed rule has picked up momentum in recent months, culminating with the extension of the comment period from Sept. 15 to Nov. 15. Here's a round-up of the recent round of criticism:

Volokh points us to Gregory Beck of Public Citizen, who evaluates how the rules will affect bloggers (Volokh doesn't see the rules as intending to suppress blogging, but rather, that they're the product of overbroad language);

Ben Cowgill returns from summer break to share how he helped the Kentucky Bar bring reason to similar rules that would have stifled bloggers;

Kevin O'Keefe at Lex Blog endorses Gregory Beck's post and reminds us that lawyers still  have First Amendment rights; and

Nicole Black at Sui Generis links to attorney Joshua Stein's commentary on the proposed changes to the lawyer advertising rules in New York and offers her own criticisms on the issue.

On one of my listservs, a colleague posted that perhaps the best way to educate others and defeat the proposed New York advertising rules would be to start a blog in opposition. Any takers? And are bloggers overreacting? Could the New York Bar be so out of touch with modern technology that it would actually adopt this proposal?

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on September 18, 2006 at 05:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (11)


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