CCL President Robert S. Peck told members of the Louisiana Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee that S. 43, which would attempt to regulate attorney advertising was unconstitutional and should not be enacted.

     The legislation, nearly identical to a law enacted in West Virginia that Peck had successfully won an injunction against, was inconsistent with the First Amendment and unlikely to ever go into law. Moreover, Peck said, it does not accomplish what the sponsor had just testified it would. Before Peck spoke, bill sponsor Senator Barrow Peacock told committee members that the bill would prohibit advertisers from using the FDA or a Louisiana government logo and showed a video of an advertisement he said would be barred. The ad used the FDA logo to report what the FDA said about the drug.

     Peck said that the advertisement shown was completely legal, truthfully reporting about an FDA statement. The bill, however, only prohibited use of a logo if the use suggested that the lawyer was affiliated with the FDA, so it would have no application to the ad shown. In addition, he told the committee that the bill was nearly identical to one enacted in West Virginia over which he had brought a lawsuit that had been granted a preliminary injunction, indicating that he was likely to prevail in his constitutional challenge. He urged the committee no to pass a law that would never go into effect, just as the West Virginia law never did. Moreover, he warned that if someone like him brought a successful lawsuit challenging it, the State would end up paying the plaintiff's attorney fees.

    Peck also gave a detailed rendition of the bill's unconstitutional provisions. Nonetheless, by a 4-3 vote, the bill now moves to the Senate floor.