Zauderer v. Office of Disciplinary Counsel
United States Supreme Court
471 U.S. 626 (1985)
In 1982, attorney Zauderer (defendant) took out advertisements in 36 Ohio newspapers announcing that his firm represented women on a contingent-fee basis in cases related to injuries caused by the Dalkon Shield Intrauterine Device (IUD). The advertisements featured an illustration of the IUD. The advertisements also gave a telephone number that individuals could call for “free information.” Zauderer acquired clients as a result of the ads. Ohio’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel (ODC) (plaintiff) investigated the ads for violations of a rule against the use of illustrations in legal advertising, a rule against offering legal advice in an advertisement, and a rule requiring that any offer of contingent-fee representation contain a disclaimer informing prospective clients that they might be liable for costs incurred in the lawsuit. Ohio’s Board of Commissioners (Board) reviewed the disciplinary charges and issued an opinion. The Board found that Zauderer’s advertisements did not cause harm to any member of the public through invasion of privacy, overreaching, or undue influence. Nonetheless, the Board issued a reprimand against Zauderer. Zauderer petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review. On review, ODC asserted that the Board’s disciplinary decision served as a prophylactic measure to prevent the publishing of advertisements that tended to encourage lawsuits or posed a risk of public harm through undue influence, overreaching, or invasion of privacy. ODC argued that the decision did not unduly burden First Amendment speech, because it represented the least restrictive means to advance compelling government interests. In support of restricting speech in legal advertisements, ODC asserted that it is more difficult for the public to identify false claims in legal advertising than in other types of commercial advertising. In support of the ban on images in legal advertising, ODC asserted that imagery poses a heightened risk of deceiving or offending some individuals.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 173,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.