Advertising Rules for Lawyers May Change

By: Mike Springer Email
By: Mike Springer Email

'Don't settle for less than you deserve' has been the slogan of Harrell & Harrell for nearly a decade.But a decision by the Florida Bar threatened to change that.

"The first amendment and commercial free speech is something that we all cherish. And anytime you're going to allow the state to censor commercial free speech we have to be careful that the rules are only oriented to only accomplish what they need to accomplish," says Frank.

When the firm was told by the Florida Bar that its slogan violated the bar's rules, Harrell & Harrell sought the council of the Public Citizen Litigation Group and attorney David Frank.

In 2008, Frank and Public Citizen Litigation Group filed a twenty page lawsuit, challenging that decision. Claiming the Florida Bar had violated their client's right to free speech.

"Well, if the plaintiff, our client Mr. Harrell had just accepted the staff rejection of their ad and their slogan, they would have been throwing out five years of expensive branding," says Frank.

Since 2002, the personal injury law firm out of Jacksonville says it spent around two million dollars a year in advertising.

But the ruling's impact extends beyond Harrell & Harrell. Frank says it will change the way attorneys all across the state advertise.

"Hopefully it will allow the bar to focus on the more aggressive issues," says Frank.

On Friday, the U.S. District Court in Jacksonville ruled Harrell & Harrell's ad did not violate any rules.

Attorney for the Florida Bar, Barry Richard says the bar has already recommend changes that were in the works before the litigation began.. A list of the new proposals is posted on the Florida Bar's website. Richard is recommending the bar not file an appeal.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Prince Location: CT on Oct 10, 2011 at 07:10 AM
    The facts provided speak for themselves (well done!)- maybe it is a topic worth further investigating since it seems to have raised many a hairs. HMA I sugeest maybe starting with comic strips first and working your way up to real articles such as this.
  • by HMA on Oct 4, 2011 at 05:41 AM
    So what is the slogan? What was the court ruling? This article was very poorly written.
    • reply
      by What on Oct 4, 2011 at 09:03 AM in reply to HMA
      Boy, did you even read the article? You could have refrained from posting. All of the questions you are asking are answered in the article.
  • by Go Navy on Oct 4, 2011 at 03:38 AM
    The Florida Bar has never been much more than a device to restict competition among lawyers. And that results in higher prices to consumers. Lawyers regulating lawyers makes no more sense than Doctors regulating Doctors. Lawyers belong under the DPOR, where all other regulated professionals are, and membership in the Florida Bar ought to be voluntary.
    • reply
      by Thom on Oct 4, 2011 at 07:38 AM in reply to Go Navy
      The various boards that regulate other trades generally contain members of the profession that is being regulated. You spoke without being aware of the facts, which is prevalent on these message boards.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Oct 4, 2011 at 08:43 AM in reply to Thom
        spoken like a true bottom feeding attorney
  • by real lawyer Location: fl on Oct 3, 2011 at 09:27 PM
    maby the rules should be changed for law enforcement to the way they harass people. if it wasent for lawyers chargeing you a fortune and defending your rights they would have to build prisons like walmarts.
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