Contact: Andrew Rush
Director, Media Services & Public Affairs
arush@nysba.org
518/487-5530

July 24, 2007

STATEMENT FROM THE NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION ON COURT RULING REGARDING ATTORNEY ADVERTISING

New York State Bar President Kathryn Grant Madigan (Levene Gouldin & Thompson LLP) issued the following statement in response to the court decision yesterday that addressed the new regulations put in place regarding attorney advertising.

Madigan said, "In Alexander v. Cahill, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York analyzed the lawyer advertising and solicitation rules adopted by the Appellate Division of Supreme Court effective February 1, 2007.   The Court upheld many of the rules, but did find some portions unconstitutional as protected free speech under the First Amendment.  

"Our Task Force on Lawyer Advertising began its work two years ago to address the dual concerns of protecting the public from false or misleading advertising or solicitation by attorneys while recognizing the legitimate interests of lawyers in informing the public about legal services.  We are gratified that the Court has recognized this balance of interests and we are in agreement with the Court's decision, which in many areas referenced the analysis provided by our Task Force.  Going forward, we welcome the opportunity to work with the Appellate Divisions to review and develop rules that strike an appropriate balance within the constitutional framework."

The 72,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation.  Founded in 1876, NYSBA programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.

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