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Ben Glass
Ben Glass
Attorney • (703) 584-7277

New Jersey in "Testimonial Battle"

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According to the website NJ.com, there is another lawyer advertising “can we use testimonials?” fight brewing. What’s interesting is that the Federal Trade Commission has weighed in, and says the proposed restrictions on the use of testimonials are overly broad.

The lawyer advertising article is here.

Here’s what I think about this. The various state bar ethics boards thinks all consumers are dumb. It’s true that consumers don’t really know how to read a lawyers ad and, by and large, they don’t know what questions to ask. On the other hand, however, there’s no compelling evidence that they’ve been mislead, either, by many of the techniques lawyers use to advertise their services.

In New Jersey, the complaint of the bar is that “testimonials don’t provide factually relevant information to help people pick a lawyer.”

OK, but what type of lawyer advertising does? Verdicts? Most won’t let you advertise verdicts without many disclaimers. Board Certification? Same thing. Must have disclaimers.

What time you are open? OK, that’s allowed. Do you take credit cards? Yes, that’s a fact that can be verified, we’ll allow that.

Nuts to that. That type of information is not helpful, either, in choosing a lawyer.

By and large these advertising “committees” seem to be formed and populated by folks who don’t even engage in the type of consumer advertising and marketing that is essential to the growth of a law practice. They sit in their ivory towers pontificating. The heck with them.

Challenge everything.

Just my 2 cents.