State Senator Truman Chafin
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 22
(By Senator Chafin)
Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance study the feasibility and attendant legal ramifications, part and parcel of any proposed legislation designed to stringently restrict and suppress the current perimeters within which lawyers advertise.
Whereas, Since the opening of a proverbial Pandora's Box, which gave license to lawyers for seemingly unrelenting and increasingly bawdy, misleading and objectionable advertisements, the legal profession's public image, once perceived as honorable and noble, has eroded into a carnival-like thing, akin to a blue- light special, touted on a used car lot; and
Whereas, The general public's current perception of the legal profession, quite contrary to the once-held view of a noble endeavor, has over the decades sunk into a doleful chasm wherein lawyers are equated with used car salesmen, moneygrubbers and shysters. This unfortunate state of affairs has regrettably occurred due to the sheer and continual increase in the number of lawyers per capita, and the resulting massive aggregation of tasteless, unprofessional and gaudy advertisements that lawyers apparently are compelled to publish in an effort to compete with one another while clinging to the ultimate dream of hitting the grand prize of the injury lottery; and
Whereas, Since this once indomitably noble profession has been allowed to descend into the ooze of its increasingly unprofessional and ignoble state of affairs (antithetic to its original and honorable callings), a state of affairs that beckons the public with the ever-so-familiar banner query of "injured?", while promising monetary jackpot recoveries that appeal to the basest of human instincts, a cancerous growth has materialized which begs for substantial containment, if not outright excision; and
Whereas, In the eyes of the public, the legal profession's intended virtues of promoting public justice, upholding the rights of citizens and resolving conflicts without resort to violence have been relegated to the annals of history, while being replaced by catchy limericks, jingles and punch-lines, endemic in the massive advertising budgets (once the exception - now the rule) extolling the self-appointed "heavy hitter", "won't-take-no-for-an-answer" and "lawyer-who-will-fight-for-you" wannabes; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to study the feasibility and attendant legal ramifications, part and parcel of any proposed legislation designed to stringently restrict and suppress the current perimeters within which lawyers advertise; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the regular session of the Legislature, 2007, regarding its findings, conclusions and recommendations, along with drafts of any proposed legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.