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False Lawyer Advertising: Close but No State Bar

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By William Vogeler, Esq. on March 15, 2018 7:00 AM

Lundy Law did not break false advertising law with its commercials.

However, according to a federal judge, the Philadelphia law firm did stretch the truth to the breaking point. Judge Cynthia Rufe said the managing partner lied in a television commercial.

With an endorsement like that, it's no wonder Lundy Law is advertising for business. How close can you get to the line without crossing it?

"That's What We Do"

Lundy Law got into trouble after a competitor saw the firm's ads for personal injury, Social Security and workers' compensation cases. Larry Pitt & Associates sued the firm and its managing partner for false advertising and other claims.

The trial judge dismissed the case, saying the plaintiff couldn't prove any damages. However, she noted it is unethical for an attorney or law firm to advertise in its own name for the purpose of referring cases to other firms.

In Lundy's ads for Social Security disability cases, the firm said: "We'll help you through the process. That's what we do."

It turns out, that's not what they do. Instead, they referred the cases out.

"Managing Partner Lied"

The judge was ... not a fan.

"There is every indication here that a prominent personal injury law firm in Philadelphia essentially rented out its name in exchange for referral fees and that its managing partner lied on television that his firm handled Social Security disability claims when it did not," Rufe wrote in Larry Pitt & Associates v. Lundy Law.

Rufe said the state bar disciplinary board could be the most effective means for "quickly ending and sanctioning plainly unethical conduct."

Maurice Mitts, representing the plaintiff, did not say whether he would appeal the dismissal. It was a bittersweet payback moment, however, because the Lundy firm had sued the Pitt firm over an advertising dispute in the past.

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