The personal injury law firm of Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA sued the Florida Bar challenging two aspects of its rules concerning lawyer advertising. On September 30, 2015, Judge Hinkle from the Northern District ruled that the challenge to the requirements that references to past results must be “objectively verifiable” was not yet ripe for review.
The lawsuit also challenged the Florida Bar’s ban on truthful statements regarding a lawyer’s specialty or expertise, absent certification under the Florida Bar certification program or some outside certifying organization. Judge Hinkle found that this rule failed all three prongs of the Central Hudson analysis, and granted the plaintiff’s summary judgment motion in part.
I expect this is not the last word from the federal courts on Florida’s efforts to regulate lawyer advertising. Stay tuned.
See Christian D. Searcy et. al v. The Florida Bar, 2015 WL 5769238