Federal judge on Friday declined to dismiss a challenge to the constitutionality of New York state’s new rules on attorney advertising.
Northern District Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr., sitting in Syracuse, set June 18 for the beginning of a trial on the constitutionality of the state’s new guidelines on attorney advertising.
The new rules, adopted by the presiding justices of the four Appellate Divisions, went into effect Feb. 1. They are being challenged by the personal injury firm Alexander & Catalano of Syracuse and Rochester, that firm’s co-founder James L. Alexander and Public Citizen Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group founded by Ralph Nader in 1971.
After a hearing, Judge Scullin denied the state’s motion to dismiss in Alexander v. Cahill, 5:07-CV-00117. Ruling from the bench, he also reserved judgment on the plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the rules and told the parties to prepare for an expedited trial.
"It is a great victory for us because it will allow us to get a final determination of the constitutionality of these rules pretty quickly," Gregory A. Beck of the Public Citizen Litigation Group who argued Friday for Public Citizen and the Alexander & Catalano firm said in an interview. "Every day that goes by is another day that those First Amendment rights are being violated."