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Shapero v. Kentucky Bar Association

United States Supreme Court
486 U.S. 466 (1988)



Shapero (defendant), an attorney and member of the Kentucky Bar Association (plaintiff), submitted a written advertisement in the form of a letter to the Kentucky Attorneys Advertising Commission (the Commission) for approval. In the proposed letter, Shapero offered his legal services to individuals who had foreclosure suits filed against them. Although the letter was not misleading and did not contain false information, the Commission did not approve the advertisement on the ground that it violated a then-existing state rule prohibiting the mailing of written advertisements to targeted individuals that had undergone some specific event, such as foreclosure proceedings. Shapero appealed the decision to the Kentucky Supreme Court. The Kentucky Supreme Court replaced the state’s advertising rule with American Bar Association (ABA) Rule 7.3 and upheld the Commission’s decision. Shapero appealed, arguing that the court’s decision and the ABA rule violated the First Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Brennan, J.)

Dissent (O'Connor, J.)

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