At the request of Georgia State Bar President-Elect Robin Frazer Clark, President Ken Shigley appointed Julie Oinonen, partner at Williams Oinonen LLC to serve on the Georgia Fair Market Practices Committee.
The Fair Market Practices Committee will have two tasks:
First, this committee will review over potential amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct 7.2 on legal advertising and a nonbinding Statement on Professionalism in Lawyer Advertising that will address practices that the federal courts do not let us prohibit.
The scope of what can be done about lawyer advertising rules under federal court decisions on commercial speech is pretty much limited to adding a finite list of disclosure and disclaimer requirements. There have been recent federal court decisions arising in New York, Florida and Louisiana. Any proposal approved by this committee will be subject to approval by the Disciplinary Rules Committee, Board of Governors and Supreme Court of Georgia.
Second, this committee will develop a program for more effective enforcement of Rule 7.3, which prohibits direct solicitation of clients, particularly injury victims. For years some lawyers have systematically used “runners” to solicit personal injury cases in direct contravention of Rule 7.3 and OCGA 15-19-55. President Ken Shigley’s opinion is that lawyers who conduct themselves in this manner poorly serve the consumers of legal services, unfairly compete against law-abiding attorneys who follow the rules, and degrade both the legal profession and the justice system. Stated President Shigley: “It is time to clean our own house. Thus, I am including both prosecutors and former FBI agents to serve on this committee.”
Julie Oinonen is honored to accept appointment to the Fair Market Practices Committee and looks forward to serving.