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N.J. high court: 'Super Lawyers' ads are protected speech

By The Associated Press

TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Supreme Court has reversed a ruling that barred attorneys from being advertised as “the best lawyers in America” or similar superlatives.

The high court ruling stems from a 2005 case, in which a New Jersey attorney objected to an advertising magazine titled “New Jersey Super Lawyers” on the grounds it gave the impression that the attorneys it listed were more qualified than others.

A state Supreme Court committee ruled in 2006 that such magazines violated a state rule barring ads that are comparative in nature.

But the decision published yesterday holds that the ads are a form of commercial speech protected by the First Amendment.

The matter will now be taken up by three committees for expedited review and revision of the advertising rule.

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Attorneys challenge tougher La. lawyer-ad rules
'You can regulate speech that is false, deceptive and misleading, but you can't regulate taste,' says Morris Bart, lawyer seeking to block regulations set to take effect Dec. 1. 10.28.08

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