A Florida law firm has filed a challenge in federal court to the Florida Bar rules on attorney advertising as they apply to law firm website contents and blog posts, claiming that the rules are unconstitutionally vague as applied. Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley complain that for decades the Florida Bar has "stood apart from the rest of the nation in the restrictiveness of its rules governing lawyer advertising," but that now, well, they've really just gone too far.
From the complaint:
Nothing about the statements singled out by the Bar distinguishes them from statements that thousands of other lawyers routinely include in their advertising—statements that nobody could reasonably claim to be misleading. Indeed, Florida’s rules are so broad that they would have subjected Abraham Lincoln to discipline for stating, in an 1852 newspaper advertisement, that his firm handled business with “promptness and fidelity”—two words that are no more “objectively verifiable” than those the Bar concludes violate its ethics rules here. See American Bar Association, Lawyer Advertising at the Crossroads 32 (1995).
HT: ABA Journal