Lawyer Held Liable for Faxing Newsletters is Vindicated
Remember the preposterous ruling by a New York trial court that an attorney who faxed out a newsletter about legal trends was liable under the "junk fax" law? The Court of Appeals, New York's highest court, came to its senses and has reversed the decision.
At the time, the trial court ruling had a chilling effect on distributing law firm newsletters as a marketing tool.
The court concluded that lawyer Andrew Lavoott Bluestone was sending out permitted "informational messages," and not prohibited "unsolicited advertisements" as defined by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) and the June Fax Prevention Act of 2005. See Stern v. Bluestone, 2009 NY Slip Op 04740.
During the roughly 16-month period from November 25, 2003 through March 29, 2005, lawyer Peter Marc Stern, a solo practitioner, received 14 unasked-for fax messages from Bluestone, a solo practitioner who specializes in attorney malpractice actions. Each one-page fax was entitled "Attorney Malpractice Report," and included Bluestone's contact information and web site addresses.
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