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Minutes for SB150 - Committee on Judiciary

Short Title

Defining and prohibiting certain deceptive lawsuit advertising practices and restricting the use or disclosure of protected health information to solicit individuals for legal services.

Minutes Content for Tue, Feb 16, 2021

Jason Thompson gave a bill brief of SB150 stating that it defines and prohibits certain deceptive lawsuit advertising practices and restricts the use or disclosure of protected health information to solicit individuals for legal services. (Attachment 1)

Adam Proffitt submitted the fiscal note for SB150.(Attachment 2)

Proponents, Oral

Eric Stafford spoke in support of SB150 stating that law firms are spending hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising for products that have not even faced a recall nor shown any significant health risk.He stated if this is passed, law firms could not use certain logos nor terms if they are not legitimately connected with that product. They must also include protective language “Do not stop taking a prescribed medication without first consulting your doctor. Discontinuing a prescribed medication without your doctor’s advice can result in injury.”  He stated it would also require that a drug or medical device remain approved by the FDA if an advertisement seeks clients for injury alleged from those products. (Attachment 3)

Cary Silverman spoke in support of SB150 stating that the proposed legislation targets specific types of deceptive practices commonly employed in lawsuit ads. The bill requires advertisers to contain three simple disclosures. It also prohibits three of the most common deceptive lawsuit advertising practices. In addition, it requires that the mandatory language be in clearly legible print or be audible and intelligible if spoken. (Attachment 4)

Proponent, Written

There was discussion.

There was no neutral testimony.

Opponents, Oral

Joseph Molina spoke in opposition of SB150 stating that the Kansas Supreme Court has the authority to regulate attorney conduct through the Rules of Professional Conduct. It is given this authority by the Kansas Constitution. Violation of these rules can lead to attorney discipline as severe as suspension from the practice of law and disbarment. He stated there is no need for this legislation because it is covered by the Rules of Professional Conduct. In addition, the US Supreme Court has determined that legal advertisement is protected commercial speech under the First Amendment. (Attachment 7)

Jason Roth spoke in opposition of SB150 stating that it is redundant to current rules and potentially unconstitutional based on a Federal court ruling on a similar law enacted in West Virginia. (Attachment 8)

Cody Claassen spoke in opposition of SB150 stating that it is unnecessary, and it is contrary to the Kansas and United States Constitutions. He noted attorney advertisements are already regulated and that the language of attorney advertisements is protected by the First Amendment. He also cited the West Virginia law that has been ruled  unconstitutional by a federal court. (Attachment 9)

Opponents, Written

There was discussion.  Chairperson Warren asked Joseph Molina to supply the committee with additional information about the Supreme Court's regulation of attorneys. This was provided after the hearing. (Attachment 12)

The meeting was adjourned at 11:53 AM.