Rule changes miss important update

October 15, 2010
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I’m happy that Indiana has finally entered the 21st century with its lawyer advertising rules and modernized the approach. The last time the rules had been touched, I was watching cartoons on Saturday mornings. That’s a long time ago.

While the rules touch on important subjects, including “ambulance chasers,” they don’t address a pressing issue with lawyers. There isn’t a review panel in place right now for lawyer advertising. Attorneys who want to advertise know what the guidelines are, but if they have questions, there’s no guarantee they’ll get an answer from the Disciplinary Commission.

A 2008 article in Indiana Lawyer about this topic points to inconsistencies in handling advertising that violates Rules of Professional Conduct. One way to fix this would be to create a review system for pre-approval of ads, but that’s never gotten steam. Research showed expenses ranged from $200,000 to $600,000 for this type of system. In a cash-strapped time, it’s not seen as a high priority.

That’s unfortunate because a lawyer’s credibility is on the line. Any lawyer that wants to advertise should educate himself or herself on the applicable rules and seek answers if they are unsure of something. It’s a shame that the commission that regulates the advertising can’t provide concrete answers on advertising on a consistent basis. While there may be some attorneys trying to skirt the line with their advertising, others appear to just make genuine mistakes. And if you’re caught breaking the rules, you’ll most likely be disciplined.

Even $200,000 right now is too much to spend, but if the Supreme Court or Indiana State Bar Association or other organization can come up with a way to fund a review system for pre-approval of lawyer advertising, I think it’s a good step to take.
 

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  1. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

  2. As an adoptive parent, I have to say this situation was as shameful as it gets. While the state government opens its wallet to the Simons and their friends, it denied payments to the most vulnerable in our state. Thanks Mitch!

  3. We as lawyers who have given up the range of First amendment freedom that other people possess, so that we can have a license to practice in the courts of the state and make gobs of money, that we agree to combat the hateful and bigoted discrimination enshrined in the law by democratic majorities, that Law Lord Posner has graciously explained for us....... We must now unhesitatingly condemn the sincerely held religious beliefs of religiously observant Catholics, Muslims, Christians, and Jewish persons alike who yet adhere to Scriptural exhortations concerning sodomites and catamites..... No tolerance will be extended to intolerance, and we must hate the haters most zealously! And in our public explanations of this constitutional garbledygook, when doing the balancing act, we must remember that the state always pushes its finger down on the individualism side of the scale at every turn and at every juncture no matter what the cost to society.....to elevate the values of a minority over the values of the majority is now the defining feature of American "Democracy..." we must remember our role in tricking Americans to think that this is desirable in spite of their own democratically expressed values being trashed. As a secular republic the United States might as well be officially atheist, religious people are now all bigots and will soon be treated with the same contempt that kluckers were in recent times..... The most important thing is that any source of moral authority besides the state be absolutely crushed.

  4. In my recent article in Indiana Lawyer, I noted that grass roots marketing -- reaching out and touching people -- is still one of the best forms of advertising today. It's often forgotten in the midst of all of today's "newer wave" marketing techniques. Shaking hands and kissing babies is what politicians have done for year and it still works. These are perfect examples of building goodwill. Kudos to these firms. Make "grass roots" an essential part of your marketing plan. Jon Quick QPRmarketing.com

  5. Hi, Who can I speak to regarding advertising today? Thanks, Gary

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