It's APRL in Dallas: Live Blogging the APRL Conference
Right now, I am in Dallas attending the Mid-year meeting of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL). Or as I call it, the Three-days-in-a-random-city-arguing-about-legal-ethics-with-the-quirkiest-most-outspoken-people-you'll-ever-care-to-meet Conference. APRL meetings are always a rollicking good time.
For anyone considering a career in legal ethics - or who just has an interest in the practice area - I recommend joining APRL. In addition to biannual meetings that are fun and informative, APRL has a great ListServ. It is a wonderful resource where you can ask questions on all kinds of ethics topics, and get answers from leading practitioners around the country.
This morning I participated in a lively panel entitled "Outlaw" or "Artlaw": Part I of Advertising in the Digital Age.
We watched a series of entertaining lawyer commercials and discussed whether they violated any of the ethics rules; and - perhaps more importantly - whether the lawyer advertising rules make sense in the modern world.
Here are the ads we viewed:
Adam Riposa: I'm a Lawyer
Steve Miller http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1Qk6QPzuIc
Naso Law: You Need a Lawyer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxDlrZTafhI&feature=player_embedded#!
German divorce lawyer http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_JpmhLrx4KY (The German translates roughly to "This wouldn't have happened with a divorce lawyer.")
Saul Goodman: Better Call Saul http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPd67CEL54E
This last example is not a real lawyer - he plays one on the t.v. show Breaking Bad.
One of the themes that emerged in the panel discussion is whether we really need to regulate lawyer advertising as a disciplinary matter, when there are already regimes in place that regulate advertising in order to ensure that consumers are not being deceived. The answer seems to turn, in part, on whether we believe that one of our policy goals is to enhance the reputation of the profession by regulating taste. If not, why isn't enough to prohibit false, misleading or unfair advertising and leave it at that?
You can find out more about joining APRL at www.aprl.net.