Ben Cowgill, author of the excellent Legal Ethics Blog, reports that he has been facing resistance from the Kentucky Attorney’s Advertising Commission over the very existence of his weblog. Under the relevant Kentucky rule of professional conduct (7.02), each time a lawyer advertises legal services in the state, he or she is required to submit a copy of each advertisement to the Commission and pay a $50 filing fee. The Commission also requires an additional filing fee each time the advertisement is modified.
The Commission has apparently expressed that law-related weblog postings fall under this rule, as the definition for “advertisements” includes any communication that contains a lawyer’s name “or other identifying information.” As Mr. Cowgill correctly observes, “it would be practically impossible for a Kentucky lawyer to publish a law-related web log if he or she were required to pay a $50.00 ‘filing fee’ each and every time the content of the blog is modified.”
Communications between Mr. Cowgill and the Commission continue. This controversy is an interesting and compelling example of “antiquated” regulations being outpaced by the positive consequences of modern forms of communication.