f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

December 10, 2004

fla. bar sics a giant on the pit bull

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 4:58 pm

The Florida Bar must really want to muzzle the 800 pit bull ads that it helped make famous

in disciplinary proceedings against the firm Pape & Chandler.  FBA has drafted Barry Richard

— a Florida giant in the field of appellate law — to pursue its crusade against the purportedly

deceptive and undignified  lawyer advertising.   Richard is a partner at the Tallahassee firm of

Greenburg Traurig, and is perhaps best known for his nationally televised argument on behalf

of President Bush before the Florda Supreme Court in the Election 2000 Bush-Gore litigation.  


dog black As we explained more fully here:

The Honorable Judge William W. Herring presided over the matter as Referee

and ruled that neither the 1 (800) PITBULL number, nor P&C’s logo (depicting

the head of a pit bull in a spiked collar) are deceptive or otherwise violative of 

the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar; furthermore, the State’s lawyer advertising

rules are unconstitutional restrictions on commercial speech as applied here by

The Florida Bar.

We think this case will backfire on the censors at the Florida Bar — we put our money on Pape

& Chandler and the First Amendment.


update (8 PM): Tim Chinaris of sunEthics has written to remind us that Barry Richard un-

successfully represented the Florida Bar in the Mason v. Florida Bar (11th Cir. 2002) Attorney

Steven G. Mason used an ad that stated “AV rated, the Highest Rating [in the] Martindale-

Hubbell National Legal Directory.”  FBA said the ad violated an ethical rule prohibiting

“self-laudatory” advertising, and insisted Mason include a disclaimer that Martindale-

Hubbell does not rate all lawyers and that the ratings are exclusively based upon information

from confidential sources. (see 1st Amendment Law Center for a good summary of Mason

After losing at the 11th Circuit, Richard is quoted saying, “I admit that this case was at the

edge of the envelope.”   This time, the Florida Bar has again gone over the edge.


spring breeze–
two samurai
attend the dog


after plastering
the gate with fleas
the dog runs off


the dog
braces himself…



 ISSA, translated by David G. Lanoue

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