How Low Will They Go?

Monday, January 21, is a national holiday celebrating the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the giants in the civil rights movement.  Courthouses, post offices and my business are closed in recognition of Dr. King’s life.  Yet on Saturday, January 19, 2019, I received an email from an entity called Law Practice CLE announcing their “Martin Luther King Day Special” that ended on January 21, 2019, and gave a 15% discount on “All Law Practice CLE Courses” with the coupon code “DREAM!”

            This opening announcement was followed by a listing of ninety-eight (98) “Self-Study Courses Available” beginning alphabetically with “A Complete Guide to Reliable Living Traits” and ending with “Setting A Winning Law Firm Internet Strategy in 2018.”

            It closes with the pitch that “Law practice CLE is a national continuing legal education company designed to provide education on current trending issues in the legal world to judges, attorneys, paralegals, and other entrusted business professional.

            The obvious lack of taste in their commercial advertisement involving a national holiday is comparable to the minority lawyer advertisers who engage in deceptive tactics well beyond what was intended in Justice Blackmon’s limited opinion in 1978 allowing self-promoting of their legal services.

I encourage you to buy local products and hire local, reputable attorneys!

Lawyer Advertising & Marketing Symposium

On Friday, November 8, 2018, beginning at 1:00 p.m. a four hour panel discussion will be held at the University of Tennessee College of Law on the subject of lawyer advertising since 1978 when the topic was legalized by the United State Supreme Court in the landmark decision of Bates v. State Bar of Arizona.   Former Tennessee Supreme Court Justice and head of the Student Advocacy Center at UTK, Professor Penny White, will moderate the discussion on the negative and positive aspects of the publics enhanced “right to know” of the availability of lawyer services through advertising and marketing.

            Jerry H. Summers of Summers Rufolo & Rodgers, P.C. will give his opinions as to the good and bad of the subject and how it has changed the practice of law since the Bates decision.  Many of these views are already stated on his independent blog “” that has been in existence for over a year.

            A representative of one of the large law firms in the area will speak on the subject of how they market the firm to the public under the standards of Bates and subsequent appellate decision by courts and actions of bar associations across the country.

            As of this date no one has come forward to speak on the more questionable area of lawyer advertising in the area of personal injury law as it applies to injured parties (plaintiff) as a result of car/tractor trailer accidents, defective products, medical malpractice, etc.

            Dual Continuing Legal Education credit has been approved for the symposium in the event any attorneys need to comply with the yearly (CLE) requirements established in this area of the legal system.

            UTK Law students have been invited to attend for what hopefully will be a lively discussion on how the topic of allowing attorneys to market their services in the media to the public has affected the image of the legal profession.     

            Additional information can be obtained from the UTK College of Law, 1505 Cumberland Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37996 (865) 974-4241.