In Recht v. Morissey, the Fourth Circuit held today that West Virginia could ban lawyer advertising about drug and medical devices from truthful use of the word "recall," calling it a "loaded," "troublesome," and "misleading," as well as other provisions previously invalidated in a CCL case by a federal district court. CCL president Robert S. Peck pledged to seek rehearing en banc, describing the decision as inconsistent with Fourth Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court precedent. 

     The decision accorded significant discretion to the state legislature, even though First Amendment precedent required the state to demonstrate that the problems it addressed were real, would be materially advanced by the chosen methods, and that no less extensive approach would suffice. The decision also upheld disclosure requirements that took up 30 seconds in a 30-second advertisement without providing any rationale for doing so. It also treated a requirement that lawyers tell viewers to consult their physician before discontinuing use of any medication, even when the advertising had nothing to do with medication. Such a requirement has no justification in such a case. It further treated that disclaimer as factual and uncontroversial, even though the district court termed it "medical advice."

     The petition for rehearing en banc is due May 11.