Ohio Law

News and Announcements from the Supreme Court of Ohio and Other Governmental Entities Within the Buckeye State.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Testimonial Advertising...the rest of the story

I posted earlier this week concerning a order from the Supreme Court of Ohio effectively lifting the ban on testimonial advertising for attorneys. Not much info was within that order. A story posted on the Gongwer News Service site stated that the decision to lift the rule came after professional sports agent and attorney Bret Adams of Columbus filed suit in U.S. District Court (2:04-CV-00264, S.D. Ohio) against Chief Justice Thomas Moyer and the six justices. Adams contended the state court's advertising rule deprived him of his right to commercial free speech. Adams wanted to run a print advertisement featuring an endorsement from athlete-coach Chris Spielman, now of the Columbus Destroyers.

The federal lawsuit was dropped (on January 21, 2005 according to PACER) in view of the court's move to halt enforcement of the existing rule. The order by the court appears to effectively overturn the 1998 opinion of Disciplinary Counsel v. Shane, 81 Ohio St.3d 494, 692 N.E.2d 571 (Apr 22, 1998) (NO. 97-2642, 97-2643, 0074) in which the court agreed "with the conclusion of the panel that the four television commercials presented from April 1994 through early 1996, in which former clients praised the work of the firm, violated DR 2- 101(A)(3)."



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