CONTACT PERSON: VALERIE WILLARD
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
| OCTOBER 31, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chief Justice Pascal Calogero, Jr. announced today that the Court's recently-adopted amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct pertaining to lawyer advertising will become effective on April 1, 2009, rather than December 1, 2008, as previously announced.
The Court adopted the new rules following a lengthy study conducted by the Louisiana State Bar Association, recommendations of the LSBA House of Delegates, and further study by a Court Committee chaired by Justice Catherine D. Kimball. These processes were triggered by a 2006 Senate Concurrent Resolution finding that lawyer advertising in the state has become undignified and poses a threat to the way the public perceives lawyers in this state. The new rules resulting from these processes balance the right of lawyers to truthfully advertise legal services with the need to improve the existing rules in order to preserve the integrity of the legal profession, to protect the public from unethical and potentially misleading forms of lawyer advertising, and to prevent erosion of the public's confidence and trust in the judicial system.
The Court is aware that constitutional challenges to the new rules have been raised. As the body with jurisdiction over disciplinary proceedings against lawyers of this state, the Court finds that to compel compliance with the new rules before the constitutional issues are resolved would be prejudicial to those lawyers attempting to comply with the rules while others are resisting compliance. Accordingly, the Court has deferred implementation of the new rules until April 1, 2009, in order to preclude the possibility of disciplinary action based upon violation of the new rules pending disposition of the current challenges.
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