Hayes v. State of New York Attorney Grievance Comm., No. 10-1587 (2d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
This appeal concerned a First Amendment challenge to a New York rule requiring attorneys to identify themselves as certified specialists to make a prescribed disclosure statement. At issue was whether Rule 7.4 of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct, N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 22 section 1200.53(c)(1), which required a prescribed disclaimer statement to be made by attorneys who stated that they were certified as a specialist in a particular area of law either violated plaintiff's freedom of speech or was unconstitutionally vague. Because enforcement of two components of the required disclaimer statement would violate the First Amendment and because the absence of standards guiding administrators of Rule 7.4 rendered it unconstitutionally vague as applied to plaintiff, the court reversed with directions to enter judgment for plaintiff.