Judge has a problem with law firm’s ads, but says rival can’t recover damages

Law Firms



A Philadelphia attorney isn’t executed litigating false promoting circumstances towards law companies, even though he wasn’t in a position to influence a federal pass judgement on remaining month that Larry Pitt & Associates was once entitled to damages for a rival Philadelphia agency’s advert claims.

Lawyer Maurice Mitts instructed the Legal Intelligencer he wasn’t in a position to mention whether or not the Pitt agency would enchantment the Feb. 15 choice, which criticized the defendant law agency, Lundy Law, in spite of ruling on its behalf.

But there’s a 2d case ready within the wings: a false promoting swimsuit towards Morgan & Morgan. Mitts represents the plaintiff law agency, Rosenbaum & Associates, which not too long ago filed an amended criticism with added main points from discovery. The preliminary swimsuit alleged that Morgan & Morgan leads shoppers to imagine the agency actively litigates circumstances in Pennsylvania although it has only one Philadelphia attorney with little non-public harm enjoy

In the swimsuit towards Lundy Law, U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe mentioned Larry Pitt & Associates couldn’t recover damages “despite evidence of years of wrongdoing” by way of Lundy Law. The law agency had referred incapacity advantages circumstances to out of doors law companies even because it promised doable shoppers it will lend a hand them during the procedure, in step with the pass judgement on.

Rufe mentioned the false promoting declare fails for the reason that Pitt agency hadn’t proved any shoppers have been influenced by way of the advertisements, file Law360 and a prior tale by way of the Legal Intelligencer. She additionally famous that Lundy Law had modified its practices, eroding its declare of a probability of long run violations that might give you the foundation for an injunction.

The Pitt law agency had claimed Lundy Law marketed felony services and products in each staff repayment and Social Security incapacity circumstances, even though that it referred the circumstances to different attorneys. Pitt had sued for false promoting underneath the Lanham Act and misleading advertising underneath Pennsylvania’s unfair festival law.

The Social Security advertisements mentioned: “We’ll help you through the process” of gaining incapacity advantages. “That’s what we do.” The staff repayment advertisements mentioned, “At Lundy Law, your own lawyer will guide you through every step of the process.”

Rufe didn’t imagine the employees repayment advertisements have been deceptive for the reason that attorney running at the circumstances was once of suggest to Lundy Law and was once coated underneath its legal responsibility insurance plans.

But Rufe was once afflicted by way of Lundy Law’s Social Security advertisements.

“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. “But when a plaintiff fails to fulfill its burden of setting up causation of injury or probability of long run violations, the Lanham Act and Pennsylvania law don’t allow a court docket to grant aid primarily based only on a defendant’s previous misrepresentations

“Nonetheless, courts are not the only institutions to review deceptive attorney advertising; nor are they typically the most appropriate or efficient forum. In many instances, a complaint to the state attorney disciplinary boards may be the most effective means for quickly ending and sanctioning plainly unethical conduct. Thus the court’s decision should not be read to condone or excuse defendants’ alleged actions, but should instead serve as a reminder of the burden that plaintiffs bear when they choose to seek relief against their competitors in court.”

A attorney representing Lundy Law, Robert Heim, instructed the Intelligencer that the advertisements criticized by way of the pass judgement on have been a fraction of the advertisements at factor within the case.

Rufe had in the past tossed antitrust claims within the swimsuit stemming from Lundy Law’s unique contracts for law-firm promoting on buses, on a in style radio station at rush hour, and on the Wells Fargo Center sports activities enviornment.

Updated: March 13, 2018 — 12:53 pm
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