David Giacalone of f/k/ahas this post about the recent Florida Supreme Court decision in the 1-800 PIT BULL case (we noted the matter earlier here).
The court ruled that a Florida law firm’s use of the phone number
1-800-PIT-BULL and a logo depicting a pit bull in a spiked collar
violates Florida ethics rules – and issued a public reprimand against
the firm. David wonders why the bar needs to regulate these types of
ads and can’t trust consumers to make their own judgments about them.
David’s post also lengthy excerpts from the ludicrous decision which,
among other things, ponders such weighty questions as whether use of
the pit bull logo demeans all lawyers or is deceptive (because it’s not
possible to evaluate whether the firm actually conducts itself as a pit
bull would in representation of clents) and whether the logo of the pit
bull in the spiked collar reflects the dog’s role as “man’s best
friend.” (the court concluded that it did not).
WHICH OF THESE DOGS IS DECEPTIVE OR DEMEANING?
So now I can only wonder whether the Massachusetts or California
bars are going to pick up on the Florida court’s decision and go after
biglaw firm Bingham McCutcheon
also uses a dog in its ad (below), with the slogan “Hairiest deals
turned best in show” (whatever that means). Isn’t use of this dog
demeaning to the profession – after all, it’s only wearing a turtleneck
and not a suit and tie? And isn’t the ad deceptive – after all, is it
possible to determine whether Bingham conducts its deals with the same
effectiveness of a dog trainer, who turns a hairy dog into a champ?
And what about Georgetown Law School – can it still use a bull dog as a
logo? Or are bull dogs and pit bulls different enough breed?
Obviously, I don’t expect that anyone will ever go after Bingham and law schools can probably use any logos they want.
But my point is, does the Florida Bar really want to go down this
road? Does it want to engage in an analysis of dog breeds, not to
mention the characteristics of other animals any time a lawyer uses one
in an ad? What a silly decision.