When I started this “Silly Blog” six months ago, I decided that I would take “hard but fair” shots at the out-of-town lawyers taking cases away from local lawyers and to address some of the ads by the local law firms engaged in the media advertising areas of radio, television, websites, and billboards. If we felt their ads came close to being “deceptive” as allegedly banned by the limited holding in the 1977 United States Supreme Court decision allowing lawyer advertising we have addressed their claims. Said opinion by a 5-4 vote was meant to be at a higher ethical level than that is often displayed in the 1 billion dollar yearly windfall to the media advertising industry in legal advertising. Justice Blackmun’s misguided statement that the judicial and legal communities would insure that deceptive advertising would be controlled has not been implemented:
1. In spite of my outdated belief that the practice of law is still a “profession and not a business” I will continue the “Silly Blog” as defined by one of the largest spending media law firms touting their talents.
2. Hopefully the Tennessee Supreme Court will readdress the rules on lawyer advertising that allow out-of-state law firms to avoid identifying themselves as being from out-of-state.
3. Hopefully the local and state bar associations will take stands through the media to recommend that local lawyers are just as capable to handle the personal injury, social security, bankruptcy, and divorce cases as those that set up a small satellite office in Chattanooga or other municipalities.
4. Hopefully the media lawyers will exercise some restraint in their solicitations to the public as to their qualifications, verdicts, and settlements.
5. That while lawyer advertising is legal, the professional image of lawyers deserves more than the exaggerated boasting of qualifications and accomplishments, representing that getting insurance companies to settle cases is often not difficult, and soliciting cases in a fashion that adversely affects the image of the legal profession.
Happy New Year from the Silly Blog and Jerry Summers
I encourage you to buy local products and hire local, reputable attorneys!