Thursday, September 04, 2008

Comment Bait: "Advertising Material" vs. "Legal Advertisement"

Indiana Lawyers have to include the words "Advertising Material" in their ads. So a couple of lawyers screwed up and put "Legal Advertisement" in their ad instead of the magic words. And they sent a copy of the ad to the Disciplinary Commission to boot, as they were required to do. The lawyers even corrected the mistake four years ago.

The Indiana Supreme Court dings the lawyers in this case with a public reprimand for this in part, saying that "[u]se of the phrase Legal Advertisement' may create the impression that the Commission or some other body had reviewed it and found it to be 'legal.'"

Maybe under an ad for a chiropractor. The only possible double meaning I perceive under an ad for a lawyer would be that the ad is legally permitted. Some people might think lawyers are not permitted to advertise, since once upon a time, in many jurisdictions at least, they weren't. (Ahh, those were the days, right?)

It seems to me that only the Indiana Supreme Court and the lawyers in the Disciplinary Commision itself could think that "Legal Advertisement" might refer to the Commission or some such entity.

Anyone with a different take?

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