The First Edition of Kentucky Super Lawyers is out and I must say it is much more accurate than the Top 245 Louisville Lawyers published in the March issue of Louisville Magazine article. (click here for my rant). That being said, it remains to be seen if the Super Lawyers will be able to use the title in any of their advertising. At least one state's attorney advertising commission has ruled the the use of the title may be misleading.
Looking at some of the Kentucky Advertising Commision's FAQ's it appears this could become a sticky issue: Q. MY LOCAL NEWSPAPER'S SURVEY VOTED ME "BEST LAWYER OF THE COUNTY" MAY I PUT THIS IN MY ADVERTISEMENT? OR I AM LISTED IN "BEST LAWYERS OF AMERICA" or "CHAMBERS" CAN I PUT THIS INFORMATION IN MY ADVERTISEMENT? A. Comparisons of yourself to other lawyers violates SCR 3.130(7.15), unless the comparison can be substantiated. The AAC often requires substantiation. To avoid delays in the review of your advertisement, include the substantiation of any claims that compare yourself with others in with your submission, preventing delay of the review process. The methodology used in any survey, ranking, top ten list, etc, should be part of the substantiation in many instances. Q. CAN I ADVERTISE THAT I WAS IN "BEST LAWYERS OF AMERICA", "CHAMBERS" OR A LOCAL NEWSPAPER SURVEY, AND THAT IT NAMED MY FIRM "THE BEST" IN THE COUNTY/REGION/STATE? A. SCR 3.130(7.15) Prohibits advertising that includes a comparison of you and other lawyers, unless you can substantiate the claim. To prevent the Attorneys' Advertising Commission from disapproving your advertisement due to such a claim, include with your submission, substantiation of your claim. This should be conclusive proof that only you, as compared to every other Kentucky lawyer, can make this claim. SCR 3.130(7.15) restricts false or other statements that may mislead potential clients into believing you or your firm is better or more competent that others. Claims should be carefully worded to avoid being misleading. Claims implying that your law firm can get more money or that your law firm is the most powerful are misleading. Even a claim that you are a "big-city lawyer", while it could be true, can be considered misleading as an implication of power or competency due to your location. [source] We'll see if Kentucky's advertising commission takes a hard line with the Super Lawyer designation similar to what New Jersey did. Personally, I think all of the attorney's listed should be allowed to let the public know they are a Kentucky Super Lawyer for 2007.