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New Jersey Issues Reminder to Attorneys Using Awards in Advertising
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Summary: The New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Lawyer Advertising issued a notice after receiving numerous complaints on how attorneys were using honorary awards in advertising.

New Jersey has been experiencing numerous complaints about how lawyers are using the terms “Super Lawyers,” “Rising Stars,” and “Best Lawyers in advertising. The New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Lawyer Advertising was forced to issue a reminder after receiving so many grievances.

  
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Lawyers are allowed to refer to the honorary titles in their advertising “only when the basis for comparison can be verified” and when the group giving the award “has made adequate inquiry into the fitness of the individual lawyer.”

Read THR Names the Top 100 Power Lawyers of 2016.

The inquiry must be more rigorous than a simple tally of years practicing and lack of disciplinary notes in their history. The committee wants to see an in-depth inquiry that is more than just a tally of votes by telephone, email, or text.

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The committee reemphasized that when an award has gone through this process, lawyers that wish to use it in their advertising must provide a description of the methodology of the award. When the award includes superlatives such as “super,” “best,” “superior,” or “leading,” then the advertising “must state only that the lawyer was included in the list with that name, and not suggest that the lawyer has that attribute.”

See Lawyers Resorting to Big TV Ads for Business.



An example given by the committee’s notice is as follows: “Jane Doe was selected to the 2016 Super Lawyers list. The Super Lawyers list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at www.superlawyers.com/about/selectionprocessdetail.html. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.”

Is this a fair requirement for attorneys to follow? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more about the Super Lawyers list, read Lawyers in Arizona Office of Greenberg Traurig Named to Super Lawyers List.

Photo: leiferlaw.com



 

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