Lawyers' Ads Make for Legal Circus Indeed

Aliens, panthers, lions, pit bulls jostle in free-speech face-offs
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2008 1:46 PM CST
"Lions are an open question," says Greg Beck, a lawyer with Public Citizen Litigation Group in Washington who specializes in lawyer advertising. "Lions can be vicious, but they are also noble. The whole...   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – A law firm running ads is often frowned upon by its legal peers, and such advertising is subject to strict standards in many states. But with New York cracking down on TV spots depicting lawyers as giants or offering counsel to aliens, firms are fighting back, the Wall Street Journal reports, asserting the ads are within their free-speech rights.

South Carolina bars “showmanship, puffery or hucksterism;” Florida prohibits any emotional appeal, with one attorney barred from using a pit bull as his mascot. “Were we to approve,” a court explained, “images of sharks, wolves, crocodiles and piranhas could follow.” One Florida barrister disagrees: "The advertising rules are bizarre," he says. "The established legal bar pines for the Eisenhower era."