Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Lawyer Advertising Case

Okay, its true- some lawyer advertising is downright sleazy and despicable. Personal injury lawyers in New York own the market for cheesy attorney advertising. You have seen the TV commercials and are probably sickened by them like I am- complete with barking dogs, screeching tires and crash noises- and, most unpleasantly- greedy lawyers grinning ear to ear.

The folks in New York charged with regulating lawyer ads made rules to try to keep the sleaze off our radios and televisions. But a law firm in Syracuse, Alexander and Catalano (kings of distasteful lawyer advertising), sued arguing that the lawyer advertising rules violated their 1st Amendment rights, and won.

By refusing to hear an appeal by New York State Bar officials, the U.S. Supreme Court made final a decision by the 2nd Circuit which tossed out much of the regulations on lawyer advertising on 1st Amendment grounds, opening up the airwaves again to "cheese and sleaze" advertising.

But the real question is "Do New Yorkers need protection from cheeze and sleaze ads?" The answer, I think, is "no". In fact, while I do not employ them myself, they make my limited advertising look good by comparison. The troubling fact is though, that as cheesy and sleazy as some injury ads are, no one can deny that they are darned effective.