Mark Hummels with his children at the Grand Canyon

Mark Hummels with his children at the Grand Canyon

I did not intend this week’s posts to focus entirely on violence against lawyers and in the legal profession (and they won’t). But I could not let a heartfelt tribute to lawyer Mark Hummels pass without comment.

A few days after Mark was gunned down along with a client, I wrote about the tragedy. And then, yesterday, I wrote about an Arizona Republic op-ed by John Phelps, State Bar of Arizona CEO.

And even as I write this, we are learning more about a tragic shooting at a courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware. Violence related to the legal profession is an ongoing story.

Today, I urge you to read a moving article by reporter Jenna Greene. As the essay indicates, she attended journalism school with Mark Hummels, and so her insights even precede his work as a lawyer. For the article, Greene interviewed State Bar of Arizona President Amelia Craig Cramer.

State Bar of Arizona President Amelia Craig Cramer

State Bar of Arizona President Amelia Craig Cramer

(I wrote just last Thursday about more coverage by Jenna Greene.)

Here is how she opens her article:

“In my journalism school class at the University of California, Berkeley, there were a few in-your-face, abrasive people, the type who seemed to enjoy confrontation.”

“Mark Hummels was not one of them. I remember him as unflappable, sunny and kind, someone who listened more than he spoke. He rode a unicycle and played the ukulele.”

“He was possibly the last person I would expect to be the victim of a murderous rampage.”

Read her complete tribute here.

Follow all Jenna Greene’s updates here.

Dog is talking on telephone, on white background

Don’t expect to see him in Tennessee lawyer ads anytime soon.

What do you think of lawyer ads?

“Not much” is probably your answer.

But what do you think of association limits on attorney advertising? That second question often leads to fightin’ words.

A recent news story described the latest effort by a bar association—this time in Tennessee—to control aspects of lawyer ads. As you can read, those restrictions drew the attention of the Federal Trade Commission, which said “Hands off.”

As Jenna Greene wrote:

“Tennessee is considering proposals that would ban the use of actors playing the role of clients, prohibit ads narrated by well-known spokespeople (here’s looking at you, William Shatner) and forbid certain background sounds.”

“Also on the table: a rule that would limit the images in ads to gavels, scales of justice, the Statue of Liberty, flags, eagles, courthouses, columns, law books or photos of attorneys (‘against a plain, single-colored background or unadorned set of law books.’) Specifically forbidden: talking dogs and space aliens.”

“In addition, one proposal calls for ads to be pre-screened by a review committee of the Board of Professional Responsibility, and would ban firms without a ‘bona fide’ office in Tennessee from advertising.”

Yes, the restriction singled out talking dogs and space aliens. Hmmm.

The FTC signaled that it finds the restrictions “overbroad.”

Here in Arizona, we take a special historic interest in lawyer ads and what constitutes “overbroad.” (See Bates v. Arizona State Bar, 433 U.S. 350 (1977).)

What do you think of the FTC’s analysis? If you tend not to like lawyer ads, do you agree with bar association restrictions?