Lawyer Blogs: Opinion or Advertisement?

11/17/2008

There was an interesting article in todays Providence Business News (online version) discussing whether lawyer blogs are speech or ads. This is a very interesting subject. Most states regulate what an attorney may say in an ad. Some states, including Kentucky require that ads be submitted along with a submission fee (in Kentucky its $50). Currently, Kentucky does not require submission of blog postings "if they are a legitimate expression of journalism." This standard has not yet been defined. I believe blogs are NOT advertisements so long as they do not stump for business by disussing the lawyer and what he can do for a potential consumer. As long as the posts are legitimate discussions of issues the lawyer is interested in, be they personal or professional, he deserves to be able to discuss them without having to obtain approval from a regulatory body. Sometimes business may result, sometimes not; regardless, it does not turn a blog into an ad. That is not to say that if an attorney abuses a blog they should not be subject to regulation, both by the advertising commision and the formal bar if necessary.

hp