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

May 6, 2005

SCotching lawyer nicknames

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 1:33 pm
Florida’s lawyer-advertising police can finally point to a state with even sillier rules than their own — South Carolina.   Thanks to some asinine legislative over-reaching by “tort reformers,” it is now unlawful for a lawyer to advertise with “a nickname that creates an unreasonable expectation of results.”  (S.C. Code Section 39-5-39(1); the legislation is summarized here, with links) (via RiskProf, who has done some interesting brainstorming; and Walter Olson)    Of course, one might argue that no nickname creates an “expectation of results.”  (especially in a part of the Country noted for nicknames).  But, that would require a belief — apparently lacking in the South Carolina Legislature — that consumers have brains (see our post & comment). 

hammer  I expect this Nickname Ban to be struck down as an overbroad limit on commercial speech.  Here in Upstate New York, we once had Jim “The HammerShapiro, and have had “The Heavy Hitters” (Martin Harding & Mazzotti) for years,  plus four lawyers who practice separately but advertise jointly as “The Dream Team.” So far, our consumers have successfully avoided Sobriquet Expectation Syndrome

Should the ban on nicknames be upheld, I suggest that South Carolina lawyers consider officially changing their given or middle names — perhaps to Champion, Rock, Vindicator, or the ever-popular Hammer.  And, please plan ahead: give your children names they can grow into that inspire confidence in the gullible.  Native Americans — or their admirers — could probably come up with some very evocative and effective names (“She Who Takes Many Scalps,” “He Who Always Gets One-Third”). Do you think “Sue” is allowed?   Got any (family-rated) suggestions?   Please use the Comment link below.

its name tag blowing
in the winter rain…
bag of rice

ISSA, translated by D.G. Lanoue

9 Comments

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    did you like it?

    Comment by Peter Jackson — July 23, 2005 @ 5:15 pm

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    did you like it?

    Comment by Peter Jackson — July 23, 2005 @ 5:15 pm

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    Comment by Richard Davis — July 24, 2005 @ 6:34 pm

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    Comment by Richard Davis — July 24, 2005 @ 6:34 pm

  9. Here in Texas we have a lawyer known as “The Texas Hammer” and the “Tough, Smart Lawyer” in his advertising. Rumor has it that he’s never actually seen the inside of a courtroom.

    Comment by Houston Divorce Lawyer — May 14, 2008 @ 8:11 pm

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