March 10, 2017

Bloomberg BNA interviews Michael Robinson on proposal to limit plaintiffs' attorney drug ads

2 min

Venable partner Michael Robinson was interviewed in a March 10, 2017, Bloomberg BNA article on a letter by Virginia Congressman Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, seeking changes to professional conduct rules over what plaintiffs' attorneys can say in commercial about prescription drugs. The letter calls for "common sense reforms" requiring legal ads to warn patients not to stop taking medication without consulting a doctor and that all medications have approved by the FDA.

"We understand the concerns that are raised, but there is a process in place to address those types of concerns," said Robinson, who serves a president of the Virginia State Bar. Noting that the letter comes just two weeks after the bar approved amendments on attorney advertising in Virginia, he added, "We'll be in the process very shortly of petitioning our supreme court to make those revisions."

Robinson said any regulation on attorney advertising had to focus on whether the ad was false or misleading. He said the proposals approved in Virginia put a new emphasis on the "false and misleading" standard. He added that the proposed changes would not change the analysis for the bar to impose specific disclaimers on advertising. "Those types of issues are so fact specific that the bar would tend to address them through a particular complaint rather than the more general approach of developing a new regulation that would have its own First Amendment issues."