Is blogging advertising?

Some comfort for attorneys who might be worried that their blogs could be deemed to be advertising and therefore subject to bar association rules and the like, came from the New York Court of Appeals last month. In Stern v. Bluestone, New York’s highest court ruled that a lawyer who fax-distributed copies of a flyer he called the Attorney Malpractice Report, did not run afoul of the federal statute against distributing unsolicited advertising by fax. The court held that these faxes constituted “information messages” and not advertising, even though they contained the sender’s contact information, and even though the sender specialized in attorney malpractice actions.

Although not directly concerned with blogging, and not interpreting legal advertising rules, and although only applicable in New York state, this decision has been viewed (by bloggers naturally), and also in an ABA Litigation Newsarticle, as applicable to legal bloggers.

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