SB 1143
Modifies the law regarding false or misleading television advertisements for legal services
LR Number:
Last Action:
2/25/2008 - Hearing Conducted S Judiciary and Civil & Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
Journal Page:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2008

Current Bill Summary

SB 1143 - This act provides that no television advertisement for legal services shall contain a false or misleading statement about the lawyer, law firm, or the legal services. False or misleading advertisements shall include, but are not limited to, the conditions listed in this act.

Television advertisements for legal services shall contain a disclaimer stating, in writing and orally, that the Missouri Supreme Court cautions that the choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.

If any advertiser of legal services routinely refers cases acquired by television advertising to lawyer not employed by the lawyer, law firm, or entity whose name appears on the advertisement, then it shall contain a warning stating, in writing and orally, that the case may be referred to lawyers or law firms that are not employed by the advertising law firm.

Television advertisements that include amounts of past verdicts or settlements shall include the case name, the name of the lawyer who completed the majority of the legal work on the case, and a fair and accurate description of the case. Such advertisements shall also contain a disclaimer, in writing and stated orally, providing that past verdicts or settlements are not an indication that the advertiser can achieve similar results. It shall be false or misleading advertising to state a combined dollar amount that an advertiser of legal services claims to have achieved.

Any lawyer, law firm, or other entity conducting television advertising for legal services shall state the location of the principal office of the party sponsoring the advertisement. If the principal office is outside of Missouri, the advertisement shall clearly indicate that the advertising party does not have a license to practice law in Missouri, and shall state the name of the lawyer or lawyers who will participate in cases obtained by the advertisement.

A lawyer, law firm, or entity shall not pay any part of the cost of television advertising for legal services unless the advertisement discloses the name and address of the financing party, the relationship between the advertising and financing party, and whether the advertising party is likely to refer cases to the financing party.

An entity or organization shall not advertise on television as a lawyer referral and information service and refer clients or cases unless it is a qualified lawyer referral service, as defined by Rule 4-9.1 of the Missouri Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct.

Any person who views television advertising in violation of this act may bring an action against the advertiser for injunctive relief and damages of $1,000 for each violation contained in the advertisement and for each time the advertisement is played, and may recover costs of ligation.

This act shall not apply to advertising done by a qualified lawyer referral service, as defined by Rule 4-9.1, or when the name of a lawyer or law firm appears in a television advertisement solely as a donor or sponsor for a charitable or community cause.