Faithful readers of this blog will know that I have long lamented the scabrous attorney advertising rules. Larded down with a centuries-old accretion of quaint prohibitions, the rules are doing nobody any favors.
However, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel. The ABA is actively considering a proposal to streamline its Model Rules relating to attorney advertising. This process gathered momentum on the back of some very fine work by the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, and is happening in an environment that seems ripe for change: states from Oregon to Virginia are actively considering changes – good changes – to improve their ad rules.
Here’s the tl;dr version of Avvo’s comments:
The current rules are both unnecessary and actively harmful. Unnecessary, in that the detailed regulations don’t offer consumers any meaningful protections beyond what a general prohibition on false and misleading advertising would provide. And actively harmful, as they cost the public legal information and innovation through the chilling of lawyer speech.
Here’s hoping the ABA sees this one through, and makes this necessary and long-overdue change.