Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Shark hunting

When the blood smells too sour for a pair of sharks like E. Stewart Jones and Stephen Coffey, you know it’s time to flush the water. And that must be the case, considering these two lawyers –perhaps the Capital Region’s most dubious –told the Albany Times Union they wholeheartedly support “sweeping revisions” to the Lawyers Code of Professional Conduct passed by the state Unified Court System last week.

Among these revisions is a set of standards guiding how attorneys can and cannot market themselves to clients. For the most part, this means no more jingoistic advertisements cluttering broadcasts, billboards and phonebooks across the region.

In other words, this means Martin, Harding and Mazzotti, the so-called heavy hitters –whose ads have the word “injured” with a question mark repeated at infinitum –have struck out. So has Ellis Law, another prevalent Albany firm, which will now need to remove the “as seen on T.V.” and “$150 million in settlement awards” slogans from their omnipresent ads. Don’t forget Dreyer Boyajian, a firm that won’t be able to boast getting “the justice you deserve” in their ads, according to the new guidelines.

Well, kudos to the court system for doing something right for once. These arrogant opportunists are scourges on society, who take wretched pleasure in bastardizing the nation’s laws, while fanning the flames of a sue-happy society that’s been spinning out of control for decades.

Of course, it’s very short sighted to think that regulating these ambulance chasers’ advertisement content is going to restore even an ounce of honor to the profession of attorney; quite simply, it won’t. There’s much more work to do in the ethics department before the term honor can be attributed to the profession of attorney –especially civil attorney.

But perhaps taking the commercial out of the attorney might inject a bit more law into the legal system. After all, the sooner the justice system can get a bridle on the tort lawyers, the more credence there will be for reform among their equally sordid counterparts, the insurance agencies, which have no problem upping premiums across the board as they dole out Ellis Law’s piggy bank of settlements. Perhaps the court system should consider saddling that disclaimer on their lawyers.

Frankly, state and federal legislators should consider reverting back to how the old system operated in 1908, when lawyers were barred from any advertising, save for distributing business cards. For now, the state court has moved an inch in the right direction. Let’s just hope they don’t get discouraged by the mile of reform they have left to traverse.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "Lawyers Code of Professional Conduct?" Where's the punchline! Trust us...honesty and integrity doesn't work [pay]. And by the way, are you feeling sleepy? Less hairy? Depressed? Repressed? We have just the thing for you.

Best,

Merck
Pfizer

2:55 PM  
Anonymous leica said...

At last I have found a Saratoga Springs Blog. I've been reading Albany Eye for some time with Capital Region enjoyment. As I bask in my retirementr years here in Saratoga Springs, it will be nice to add you to my daily readings. "Thank you God for my computer".
Leica@aol.com

6:07 AM  

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