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

April 11, 2006

panthers next target for Florida Bar Ad Counsel?

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 8:15 pm

Muzzle tov, to Brett and Mitchell Panter of the Miami (Florida) law
firm of Panter, Panter and Sampredo. The Florida Bar Association may
soon make the Panter brothers famous — as either heroes or martyrs
in another attorney advertising Free Speech battle waged by the Bar’s
Dignity Police.

PanterBrett & PanterMitchell “panterPantherRN”
Brett & Mitchell Panter

According to a new posting at the website of Pape & Chandler, the
now [in]famous “pit bull lawyers” [many prior posts]:

“We recently spoke with the person in charge of lawyer
advertising with the Florida Bar about the propriety of the
lion’s heads in logos, and he told us something to the effect
that lions are not as vicious as American Pit Bull Terriers, but
panthers are vicious and they are investigating the panther logo.
The conversation went from ridiculous to sublime. Upon hearing
those assertions we had to ask the representative of the Florida
Bar if he would rather take his chances with a pit bull or a lion,
we heard crickets on the other end of the phone.” (emphasis

In addition to a pair of similar panthers (on an urn, I believe) in their masthead,

here’s the footer on the PP&S website:


PanterPantherR PANTER PANTER & SAMPREDO PanterPantherL



Arne C. Vanstrum is Advertising Counsel for The Florida Bar. We mentioned him
in a post a couple days ago, when — with tongue meant to be in cheek — we asked
our readers to compare the ferocity-combativeness-quotient of the Panter website’s
panther images with the sleepy doggie head used in Pape & Chandler’s campaign.
Unfortunately, in the highly irrational and subjective world of the Bar’s Dignity Police,
it is darn hard to spoof reality.

We don’t know, of course, whether Mr. Vanstrum was revealing (confidential) infor-
mation about an actual investigation by FBA’s Advertising Counsel office. Although
f/k/a wouldn’t wish a disciplinary fight with the numbskulls of FBA and Florida’s high
Court on Brett and Mitchell Panter, there are a few advantages to having such an


tiny check The Florida “bar” might wake up to the silliness of all this dignity regulation
(or more likely the vulnerability of many self-respecting and even respected
firms to arbitrary investigation and aggravation) and push for the adoption of
sound, modern (constitutional) advertising rules, such as those in the ABA
Model Rules (2004), which states in Rule 7.1, the reasonable proscription:

“A lawyer shall not make a false or misleading communication about
the lawyer or the lawyer’s services. A communication is false or mis-
leading if it contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or
omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole
not materially misleading.”

and then cautions [Comment 3 to Rule 7.2] that “Questions of effectiveness
and taste in advertising are matters of speculation and subjective judgment,”
and warns that bans against “undignified” advertising “would impede the flow
of information about legal services to many sectors of the public” and “assumes
that the bar can accurately forecast the kind of information that the public would
regard as relevant.”


tiny check The Florida Supreme Court might come to its senses. Or, maybe
seek insight from their Carolina brethren on the topic of panthers.
[okay, not likely]

– This raises the question whether, like obscenity,
dignity is defined by local standards.

tiny check The United States Supreme Court could accept a case with less emotional
baggage than one involving pit bulls, and re-assert free speech rights for
lawyer advertising that is neither misleading nor deceptive, but which merely
offends the ego, sense of dignity, or pocketbook of certain well-placed bar

There is even one advantage here for the Panter Firm that Marc Chandler and John

Pape did not have in their “pit bull” battle with the Florida Bar Association — any

“panther” advertising investigation and litigation will almost by necessity help make

“Panter” a household word (think satellite offices!).


“panterPantherLN” “panterPantherRN”


Are there any lawyers in Florida thinking about launching new animal-related branding

or marketing activities? Before you do, you better get your species and breeds in

order and — more important — make sure you don’t have any powerful enemies in the

Florida Bar Association. [See the new webpage at Pape & Chandler, describing the

genesis and evolution of their battle with FBA.]


“tinyredcheck” Jeffey Harlan Penneys, Esq, Philadelphia personal injury and

Dog Bite Lawyer, should be quite happy he chose to settle down in

Pennsylvania to practice law, rather than Florida. PA has the model

rules version of lawyer advertising regulation, described above. If

the Florida Bar Folk thought this little guy way “ferocious”:




just what would they make of this?



[via Blawg Review Ed]



tiny check While we’re talking about lawyer self-image and the image

of lawyers, let me point out that Overlawyered‘s Ted Frank

and Legal Underground‘s Evan Schaeffer continue to trade

jabs relating to the Don’t Feed the Trial Lawyers campaign

of the Chamber of Commerce. They both call for Commentors

to be polite, however, for which I am grateful. Although I still

refuse to take sides on “tort reform as we know it,” put me

in the group that thinks the Don’t Feed billboards and ads

are ugly as sin and needlessly tasteless.


For my own Don’t Feed the Lawyers Campaign, I have always

preferred the tasteful t-shirts once available from Nolo.com.


Yes, self-helpers: – “don’t feed the lawyers — just say Nolo”




NoloSharkM NoloSharkS NoloSharkS

(from cover of Poetic Justice, edited by

Jonathan and Andrew Roth, Nolo Press, 1994):




spring-like day
the cat grapples
with a catnip bird

PanterPantherR spring rain the cat’s pink nipples

wilderness trail
the manicured poodle
still on a leash

Carolyn Hall

“spring-like day” – The Heron’s Nest (Vo. VI, 2004)

“spring rain” – 2003 Henderson Haiku Competition, Hon. Men.; Frogpond XXVII: 1

“wilderness trail” – The Heron’s Nest (II:11, Nov. 2000)



dog black




news of a missing dog

from pole to pole




traffic jam

a plastic dog

keeps on nodding






evening silence

cat food for the stray






Yu Chang
“snow drift” Upstate Dim Sum (2004/II)
“traffic jam” – Upstate Dim Sum (2002/II)
“evening silence” – Upstate Dim Sum (2003/I)






it’s not swearing

it’s the only language

those cows understand



my best moo

all the cows

stop and look




hawk flight

long summer day
a hawk holds its place
between the clouds

DeVar Dahl

“it’s not” & “my best moos” – A Piece of Egg Shell (Magpie Haiku Poets anthology)

“long summer day” – New Resonance 3: Emerging Voices; Presence 15



 – FoxNews: Cheeta – 2003

p.s. Happy Birthday to Cheeta, Tarzan’s little buddy, who

turned 74 yesterday — the oldest chimpanzee in captivity.

Cheeta made me laugh a lot in my younger years (and, no,

I didn’t see the movies when they premiered).




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