CHARLESTON – The State Bar's Lawyer Advertising Commission recommendations have been forwarded to the state Supreme Court.
State Bar Executive Director Thomas Tinder was directed to send the panel's recommendations to the Court at last weekend's State Bar Board of Governor's meeting.
The 19-member panel had recommended few changes in the world of lawyer ads. Basically, the commission suggests that advertising simply be truthful and not misleading.
Instead of pre-screening ads, this plan would use the State Bar disciplinary counsel's office to examine ads after complaints are made. One alternative was what Kentucky does with a board that must approve all ads before they're made public.
"The changes that we are offering are the ones we offered in 1999, but what we're doing is taking away the standing commission," said Elliot Hicks, a Charleston attorney who headed the panel, said before last weekend's board meeting. "When you look at how many ads there are, you'd have to have this commission looking at all of those. We're talking phone book ads, direct mail pieces, billboards, TV and radio ads, newspaper ads … everything. That is a lot of advertising."
Hicks said he was told by people on Kentucky's commission that they find that process "burdensome and not fruitful."
"There was a real sense of real frustration," Hicks said recently. "The job is so big and the number of ads they really need to address is so small. … They think they have a lot more work and not a lot of results. Basically, it isn't time- or cost-efficient."