In Florida you can advertise your law firm with panthers and lions, but not with space aliens, pit bulls, sharks, wolves, crocodiles, or piranhas.

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So says this WSJ article, which also notes:

… Searcy Denney is well aware of the Florida bar’s reach. In 2005, the personal-injury firm produced a series of TV spots with scenes including children running and lawyers at work in their offices. In 2006, the bar struck down the ads on the grounds that they contained improper content, including the sound of children bouncing a ball. Other impermissible sounds, according to the bar: a computer turning off, a light switch turning off, and footsteps. The Florida bar has proposed amending its rules to permit some background sound.

This school of toothy fish cannot represent you in a court of law, at least not in Florida.

This reminds me of something interesting. If you wanted to name two men who sort of personified non-violence and peace, would you come up with Mohandas Gandhi and Nelson Mandela? And if so, do you know what they did for a living? Lawyers! Both of them! But I admit I don’t think they advertised using crocodiles or shark imagery.

–Ann Bartow

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0 Responses to In Florida you can advertise your law firm with panthers and lions, but not with space aliens, pit bulls, sharks, wolves, crocodiles, or piranhas.

  1. nmuirhead says:

    Nelson Mandela is a great man, but he is no personification of non-violence.

    He decided non-violence would not work in South Africa, and he co-founded and lead MK, the armed wing of the ANC. I can’t find my copy of Long Walk to Freedom, but I think I remember that he personally planned and authorized armed attacks. While Mandela was in prison, MK carried out terrorist attacks, such as bombing public places, and planting landmines on public roads.

  2. Ann Bartow says:

    Several folks made the same point via e-mail. On the one hand, it is certainly true that Mandela did not have the same commitment to nonviolence as Gandhi. However, it is my understanding that he has had a huge role in preventing a whole lot of violence. Some links on the topic include:

    http://gseweb.harvard.edu/~t656_web/peace/Articles_Spring_2004/Rao_Radhika_Gandhi_King_Mandela.htm

    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines07/0129-01.htm

    http://www.dadalos.org/int/Vorbilder/vorbilder/gandhi/mandela.htm