UPDATE: For even more infomation on the proposed rules, see this post.
I recently posted about the newly proposed disciplinary rules agreed upon by the four New York Appellate Division presiding justices that would enact comprehensive reforms intended to severely limit lawyer advertising.
This proposed change has lit up the blogosphere, and much of the commentary is critical of the proposed amendments. Here is just a sampling of posts from other blogs on this issue:
- My Shingle: Who Do These New York Bar Rules Target - Let's Not Kid Ourselves
- Between Lawyers: If Lawyers Can Advertise in New York, They Can Advertise Anywhere . . . But They Probably Can't
- Real Lawyers Have Blogs: New York's lawyer advertising rules labeled draconian and micromanaging
- Legal Ethics Forum: Proposed Advertising Rules in New York (the comments to this post are worth reading as well)
- Law Biz Blog: Bar fails again to protect its members!
- Jim Calloway's Law Practice Tips Blog: New York's Proposed Lawyer Advertising Rules are Controversial, to Say the Least.
- Legal Ease Blog: Proposed Changes to New York's Rules for Lawyer Advertising
- Paperstreet Blog: New York Advertising Rules for Lawyer: A Trench Fight Instead of Rising Up to Lead
The vast majority of commentary that I've come across is critical of the proposed rule changes. Many predict, and I think they're correct, that the new rules will have a greater impact on the ability of sole practitioners and smaller firms to advertise. And, many note that the definitions of certain terms are unnecessarily broad, thus making them difficult to interpret.
And, some have suggested that some of the rules seem a bit silly, such as the ban on any ads which depict the use of a courtroom or courthouse.
One of the more irksome provisions of the proposed rules is the one that relates to the required filing and/or retention of all advertising, possibly including some forms of web advertising. As some note, this proposed change appears to be a bit draconian as it relates to web sites, such as blogs, that do not consist of static web pages.
As indicated in this New York Law Journal article:
The proposed new rules are so expansive and cover so many angles -- from soliciting mass tort clients to sponsoring pop-up Internet ads to using celebrity voice-overs -- that the justices have taken the unusual step of ordering a 90-day public comment period before the disciplinary standards take effect. That period runs until Sept. 15, with the rules slated to take effect Nov. 1.
Perhaps some of the more troubling aspects of the proposed rules will be revised as a result of the comments received prior to their enactment. Only time will tell.