An Opening for Ad Rule Changes?

At last weekend’s clutch of lawyer meetings in Vancouver – the ABA midyear, NOBC, APRL, etc – I had numerous discussions about the attorney advertising rules, how they represent an obstacle for consumers and lawyers alike, and the potential for change to the rules.

A few consistent themes:

  • We’re past the point of incremental change.
  • Nobody can provide a defense for the continued existence of ABA Model Rule 7.2.
  • An increasing number of states are no longer looking to the ABA for guidance, and are setting their own course in revising their rules.

This may explain why the only voices in opposition to the ABA’s proposed changes to the advertising rules were those calling for more sweeping change:

In closing Gillers asked the about 50 attendees how many support even less restrictive rules than the working draft proposes. Overwhelmingly, a show of hands suggested more changes would be preferred.

I’ve long suggested that there is far more the ABA could do here to protect the public while radically freeing up the advertising rules. Perhaps the weight of informed opinion has finally swung over to this view.