Judge Martin Feldman of the Eastern District of Louisiana granted in part Wolfe's summary-judgment motion, agreeing that the state's efforts to pre-screen ads that attorneys intended to post online ran afoul of the First Amendment.
The Louisiana Supreme Court had revised its attorney-advertising rules at the direction of the state legislature in an apparent effort to "clean up" lawyer advertising in Louisiana and make it more consumer-friendly. Part of this cleanup involved changing the rules for online ads. A firm that wanted to run an ad online would be required to submit the proposed ad to a committee of the Louisiana State Bar Association for review to ensure its compliance with advertising rules, at a fee of $175 per ad.
Some of Louisiana's new rules restricting lawyer advertising were upheld by the opinion. But the online-ad rules, according to Judge Feldman, did not reflect any sort of careful consideration or tailoring by the state in attempting to regulate the commercial speech of attorneys.
- Law Firm Challenges Rules Restricting Online Promotion (Online Media Daily)
- Summary Judgment Granted in Favor of Wolfe Law Group and Louisiana's Ad Regulations Declared Unconstitutional (Wolfe Law Group)
- Judge Feldman's Order (JDSupra)