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Florida Lawyer Ad Rules Unconstitutionally Restrict Free Speech

January 5, 2009

Florida Lawyer Ad Rules Unconstitutionally Restrict Free Speech

WHAT: Greg Beck, an attorney for Public Citizen, will urge Judge Marcia Morales Howard of the U.S. District for the Middle District of Florida to strike down unconstitutional advertising restrictions imposed on practicing attorneys in that state by the Florida Bar.

Public Citizen and Florida attorney Bill Harrell are challenging Florida’s rules governing attorney advertising, arguing that they restrict attorneys’ speech in violation of the First Amendment and due process. Florida’s rules, among the strictest in the country, prohibit attorneys from using nearly all common advertising techniques, including slogans, jingles, background noises and descriptions of the quality of a lawyer’s services. As a result, Floridians are hampered in learning about high-quality, low-cost legal services and in gaining access to the courts.

Public Citizen is currently fighting state bar associations’ similar unconstitutional restrictions on lawyer advertising in New York and Louisiana.

WHEN:1:30 p.m. EST, Tuesday, Jan. 6

WHERE Courtroom 10B, 300 North Hogan St., Jacksonville, Fla.

MORE: READ more about the lawsuit.