Texas has some new legal ethics rules governing advertising that are causing a ruckus. (That link may be to a members-only site; they should be on Westlaw.) I got an e-mail from my old law firm saying they'd become the focus of legal ethics cle's, and I've taken a look at them.
Whoa, Nellie, as I used to say in Texas. How's this for openers: if the firm mentions a gross result in an ad (e.g., "we recovered $1,000,000 for a plaintiff in a med mal case") it has to disclose how much the fees were, and expenses, and other information. Otherwise, the ad is false and misleading because it creates "unjustified expectations." I've toured some websites, and those sorts of "past results" statements (along with the usual "your case may be different" disclaimer) are pretty common on firms across the country.
It strikes me as odd to say that a statement that "we obtained a verdict for $9m" for a client is false, if there's no intimation that that amount was actually recovered. What do you all think, though? I guess it depends on who you perceive to be reading the ad -- a med mal plaintiff, or in-house counsel for a company with some huge breach of contract claim. But, that suggests that per se saying they are false and misleading goes too far. Yes, no, or so what, it's still summer?