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Kentucky Lawyer Advertising Regulations

Topic(s): First Amendment
Date Of Involvement: 05/30/2003

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The Kentucky Bar proposed new regulations that would sharply limit lawyer advertising by preventing the use of actors and props in television commercials, barring lawyers from using testimonials and references to past successes in their ads, and requiring that any ad that mentions claims for damages include a lengthy discussion of the "legal requirements" applicable to those claims. Together, the regulations would prevent lawyers from effectively using truthful and nonmisleading advertising techniques, and thus violate the First Amendment. In addition, their anticompetitive effect raises antitrust concerns. Public Citizen submitted comments opposing the proposed rules to the Kentucky Bar and has sent letters to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission asking that they look into the antitrust issue.