Arguing that a Fourth Circuit panel ruled inconsistently with both Supreme Court and its own precedents, CCL President Robert S. Peck filed a petition asking that the case be reheard en banc. The panel's decision two weeks earlier overturned a district court ruling that a West Virginia statute restricting attorney advertising violated the First Amendment.

      In upholding the statute, the Fourth Circuit decision found not constitutional issue with a law that prohibited attorney's from truthfully stating that a drug or medical device had been recalled. To the panel, the word "recall" was inherently misleading and could cause "medically unsophisticated" consumers to think that it was recalled by the government, even though recalls are voluntary actions of a manufacturer under federal law. As the petition pointed out, only attorneys advertising about drug and medical device cases are prohibited from using the word "recall." The FDA and manufacturers are still permitted in the challenged statute to use them in press releases and on web sites to tell the public a product has been recalled. Precedent forbids government from reserving the truthful use of a word to only certain speakers.

      An additional flaw the brief pointed out to the Fourth Circuit is that the panel utterly ignored the unrebutted evidence that West Virginia required attorneys to add a long list of disclaimers to the advertisement, so long that it took up 30 seconds of a 30-second television advertisement. That type of burden violates the First Amendment under Supreme Court precedent.

      A petition for rehearing en banc is discretionary with the court. No response is required from the State of West Virginia until requested by the court.