Monday, 27 June 2022

better call saul

A distinctly foreign concept outside the United States and maybe we’ve been too indulgent of its hegemony on the internet and elsewhere of late but the 1977 decision of the US Supreme Court, issued on this day in 1977, upheld the right of attorneys to advertise their services, arguing that as commercial speech, it was entitled to protection under the first amendment to the US constitution—as promulgated through the fourteenth. In Bates v the State Bar of Arizona, the justices emphasised the benefits of information and disclosure to consumers through the vehicle of advertising and makes services more accessible to the general public and enhance the overall administration of justice. The American Bar Association had allowed for legal services to be listed in telephone directories but held that newspaper or hoarding advertisement—especially one with a price-list—goes too far. The court sided with the plaintiffs, as it had done the previous summer for the pharmaceutical industry, ruling that the consumer-interest in transparency in costs outweighed the desire to maintain collegial decorum among apothecaries.