“Finally .… Let’s be honest. Is a quote from a judge *really* going to be the deciding factor for a consumer?”

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Yesterdays’ post on quotations from judges in legal marketing materials resulted in some lively discussion. Some of the points of discussion:

  1. Context is important, as judges often say nice things before doing unpleasant things. Comment on point.
  2. Isn’t misleading marketing already illegal?
  3. Does anything really think consumers will make up their minds based on a quotation from a judge?
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  • Mike

    The first comment on yesterday’s post raised the best point – that consumers may be led to believe that a lawyer has an ‘in’ with a particular judge.

    • Gyi Tsakalakis

      But is it reasonable for them to draw that conclusion?

      • Andrew

        The average consumer doesn’t know enough to make such a determination, so the reasonableness or unreasonableness doesn’t come into play…

        • Well, maybe. But see ABA commentary on Rule 7.1:

          A truthful statement is also misleading if there is a substantial likelihood that it will lead a reasonable person to formulate a specific conclusion about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services for which there is no reasonable factual foundation.

          Seems to me reasonableness has to come into play.

          Otherwise, everything could be misleading…

  • I just have never understood why the State Bars always take the position that the public is stupid and gullible and will always be taken advantage of by lawyers. Misleading advertising is prohibited. That should be sufficient.

    • Gyi Tsakalakis

      Misleading + False…

    • Andrew

      Well, it’s a rare case, but there are instances of attorneys taking advantage of poor, stupid and gullible people. When that happens, it’s not just that one lawyer that looks bad, it makes all of us look bad. Therefore, the advertisement rules exist so that lawyers, as a profession, can regain some credibility with the public at large.

      • Less rare than we’d like to accept. But do these rules do more than the ban on false and misleading to help lawyers regain credibility or protect public?

        It seems to me that many of the rules actually make it more difficult for the public to distinguish between lawyers.