Plaintiff-appellants Bates and O’Steen, licensed to practice law in the state of Arizona, opened a “legal clinic” in 1974. The clinic provided legal services to people with modest incomes for approximately two years, after which the clinic placed an advertisement in the Arizona Republic, a daily newspaper circulated in the Phoenix area, stating the prices it charged for legal services. The plaintiffs conceded that this advertisement was a violation of Disciplinary Rule 2-101(B) incorporated in Rule 29(a) of the Arizona Supreme Court rules, which stated in part:
1. The Court clearly listed the reasons the State Bar of Arizona offered for restricting price advertising. Justice Blackmun evaluated those reasons. As critical thinkers, you realize that identifying the link between the conclusion and reasons is imperative.What reasons did the Court offer for allowing attorneys to advertise their prices?
Clue: Remember that the Court concluded that, under the First Amendment, the state may not suppress advertising by attorneys.What reasons did Justice Blackmun use to reach this conclusion?
2. What primary ethical norm dominated the Court’s consideration of the advertisement of prices for attorney services?
Clue: Go back to the Court’s examination of the reasons offered by the State Bar of Arizona. Look closely at Justice Blackmun’s response to reason 3. Furthermore, consider the last two paragraphs of the opinion.
3. Suppose that the State Bar of Arizona had introduced evidence that advertising causes the price of attorney’s services to increase. Do you think Justice Blackmun would have come to a different conclusion? Why or why not?
Clue: Look at the discussion of undesirable economic effects on advertising. Consider the primary ethical norm you identified in question 2. Do you think Justice Blackmun would consider this piece of evidence to be extremely persuasive?