2010 Georgia Code
O.C.G.A. 10-1-427 (2010)
TITLE 10 - COMMERCE AND TRADE
CHAPTER 1 - SELLING AND OTHER TRADE PRACTICES
ARTICLE 15 - DECEPTIVE OR UNFAIR PRACTICES
PART 4 - FALSE ADVERTISING
§ 10-1-427 - False advertising of legal services; exemption for broadcasters or publishers acting in good faith; complaints; violation of cease and desist order
10-1-427. False advertising of legal services; exemption for broadcasters or publishers acting in good faith; complaints; violation of cease and desist order.
(a) No person, firm, corporation, or association or any employee thereof, with intent directly or indirectly to perform legal services or to do anything of any nature whatsoever to induce the public to enter into any obligation relating thereto, shall make or disseminate or cause to be made or disseminated before the public in this state, in any newspaper or other publication, radio, television, or advertising device or by public outcry or proclamation or any other manner or means whatever, any statement concerning such legal services or concerning any circumstances or matter of fact connected with the proposed performance thereof which is untrue, fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading and which is known or which by the exercise of reasonable care should be known to be untrue, fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading.
(b) Nothing in this Code section shall apply to any visual or sound broadcasting station or to any publisher or printer of a newspaper, magazine, or other form of printed advertising who broadcasts, telecasts, publishes, or prints such advertisement in good faith without knowledge of its false, fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading character.
(c) The Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs is authorized and empowered, upon the receipt of a complaint or upon its own initiative, to investigate any advertising which might be in violation of subsection (a) of this Code section. If the office determines that any advertising is in violation of subsection (a) of this Code section, it is authorized and empowered, after providing the offender with reasonable notice and an opportunity for a hearing, to issue a public reprimand, to issue a cease and desist order against the offender, to report any such action to any board, agency, commission, association, or other entity governing or supervising the legal profession, and to publicize any such action in a medium or media likely to reach the recipients of the improper advertising. Any person against whom the office issues an adverse decision may, as his sole remedy in equity or at law, seek a restraining order against such adverse decision in the superior court.
(d) Any person who violates a cease and desist order issued pursuant to subsection (c) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor in the county in which such person resides. Nothing in this subsection shall prohibit any board, agency, commission, association, or other entity governing or supervising the legal profession from taking any lawful action against such person as a result of such improper practices. Each publication of an advertisement in violation of any such cease and desist order shall constitute a separate offense.
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