Down With Disclaimers

Lawyers Will Have An Easier Time getting their message out to prospective Bay State clients thanks to new rules adopted by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
Starting this week, the ban on in-person solicitations to businesses, former clients, family members and other attorneys has been lifted. In addition, targeted written communications (i.e., direct mail) need no longer be labeled “advertising.”
The court struck down a proposal that would have banned dramatizations and testimonials in paid media, and declined to require disclaimers or specify point size and broadcast length for any disclaimers lawyers choose to include in the ads.
The new rules, coming on the heels of a wide-ranging report on lawyer ads prepared by a special committee, were hailed by those who help barristers advertise.
“As long as they’re not deceptive,” lawyers should be able to promote themselves as they see fit, said Andy Fruit of Omega Advertising in Boston, which creates dozens of commercials each year for attorney Jim Sokolove.
Fruit glibly noted that lifting the ban on in-person solicitations makes “ambulance chasing” a theoretical possibility.
–David Gianatasio