Louisiana: Don’t let a lawyer be your doctor

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The Texas Legislature recently passed Senate Bill 1187 by state Sen. Dawn Buckingham – a measure aimed at reining in deceptive legal advertising.

Signed by Governor Greg Abbott, the legislation will take effect on Sept. 1, 2019, and will require legal advertisements to properly warn patients that it is dangerous to stop taking a prescribed medication before consulting a doctor. That’s a common-sense disclosure that quite frankly shouldn’t even have to be addressed. After all, a lawyer is not a doctor.

But unfortunately, misleading legal ads have plagued Texans for years and continue to pester in states around the country. Take, for instance, our neighbors to the east.

A recent study shows that residents of Louisiana’s top three media markets are subjected to viewing a legal services ad every minute on average in local broadcast networks. It comes as no surprise, then, that Louisiana boasts bodily injury claims resulting from auto accidents at nearly twice the national average. Clearly, legal advertising is working for some personal injury lawyers there.

Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch (LLAW) is working hard to ensure the Louisiana Supreme Court and the Louisiana State Bar Association review solicitation advertising rules for lawyers. It’s a good start.

As we know well here in Texas, there are ultimately no winners when it comes to lawsuit abuse, such as misleading or deceptive legal advertisements, except for personal injury lawyers and their pockets. Which is why Texas continues to lead the nation in addressing common-sense lawsuit reforms and keeping Texas one of the best places in the country to do business.