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23 March 2018

Above The Law, executive editor Elie Mystal stumbled across this advertisement for what is appears to be NRI law firm Malik Law Chambers, based in Southall, UK, and was stumped by what to make of it.

21 November 2017

Indian lawyers listing their profiles on a number of websites, apps and aggregators are guilty of “surrogate advertising”, Bhasin & Co managing partner Lalit Bhasin told the Hindustan Times in an article headlined “Law firms’ body seeks ban on apps, websites offering legal services”, with a nutgraf of “The Bar Council says the practice is equivalent to surrogate advertising”.

09 November 2015

Amity Law School student Paras Jain recovered Rs 15 lakh in damages from India’s first and biggest fairness cream brand Emami, for causing psychological hardship to his brother Nikhil Jain, through its allegedly false claims of fairness, reported The Telegraph.

Emami was also banned from advertising its product “Fair and Handsome” by the district consumer forum in Delhi which awarded Jain the punitive damages and Rs 10,000 to cover the cost of the three-year litigation in the case.

The award of Rs 15 lakh will go to the coffers of Delhi’s _state consumer commission._Jain had filed an unfair trade practices suit against Emami in the consumer court after, contrary to its advertised claim that its cream Fair and Handsome will lighten the skin tone of its consumer within four weeks, there was no change in Jain’s skin tone.

Emami argued in court that its product meant only to improve skin health and quality by providing protection and nourishment to the facial and neck skin to which it is applied. However in its 3 November order the court rejected Emami’s argument because it was contrary to its advertised claim of guaranteed fairness, which therefore constituted “misrepresentation”.

Paras Jain reportedly commented: “While the cream didn’t damage my brother’s skin, it had a psychological effect. The company is playing with the emotions of so many people who want to look and feel better.”

The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) had, even before this court order, prohibited fairness cream ads from showing darker-complexioned people as unhappy or disadvantaged or belonging to any particular socio-economic class, ethnicity or community.

Telegraph added that skin tone can be quantitatively measured using a spectrophotometer and colorimeter and skin specialists claim that constitutive skin colour is determined by cells called melanocytes which are not responsive to any cream. Melanocytes sometimes over-produce a pigment called Melanin, to protect the body from the harmful effects of sun-exposure and this causes skin to “tan”. This can be reduced by external creams.

21 October 2014

The Kerala bar council is discussing plans to ban all lawyers from talking to the media about their own cases under the anti-advertising rule 36 of the Bar Council of India (BCI) Rules, which could be implemented after a meeting soon, reported the Deccan Chronicle.

The rule states that advocates must not solicit or advertise, and “not promote himself by circulars, advertisements, touts, personal communications, interviews other than through personal relations, furnishing or inspiring newspaper comments or producing his photographs to be published in connection with cases in which he has been engaged or concerned”.

Proceedings in the Kerala high court are currently ongoing to ban open court reporting by media, while former Chief Justice of India (CJI) and current Kearala governor P Sathasivam said last week that if journalists always read judgments first, there shouldn’t be any reason to ban court reporting.

14 February 2014

Bar Council of India (BCI) chief Manan Kumar Mishra said in a conference hosted by the American Bar Association yesterday that the BCI, in the second week of March, would “pass a resolution to amend Rule 36 in Section IV of the BCI Rules to allow lawyers and law firms to have their own websites”, reported Bar & Bench.

In 2010 the Delhi bar council vowed to crack down on law firm websites but quickly backed down from the proposal. However, in 2008 the Delhi bar council had allowed law firms to have websites within the existing restrictions on advertising. The amendment stated that advocates would be allowed to furnish “website information as prescribed in the Schedule under intimation to and as approved by the Bar Council of India”, which permits little more than publishing advocates’ contact details, qualifications and areas of specialisation.

Research and a column published on Legally India in 2012 pointed out most law firms and their websites were in “blatant violation” of the BCI’s advertising rules.

22 August 2013

AdvertisingSo, Legally India sometimes gets accidentally addressed mail making us privy to some of the less public proposals law firms receive.

09 July 2013

BCI LLB age-limit challenged : A writ before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad HC has challenged the BCI’s upper age limit to appear in law entrance tests. BCI has banned those 20 or older from sitting for the five-year degree, and those 30 or above for three-year LLB courses through Clause 28 of Schedule III to Legal Education Rules, 2008 [Parda phash]

Late litigation policy: The National Litigation Policy was first floated three years ago when Veerappa Moily was law minister. Now it has resurfaced as a draft policy under new law minister Kapil Sibal. Under the draft, in cases where the court imposes costs against the government as a condition to granting adjournment, the head of the government department will have to report on why and list the persons responsible. “Suitable action” will be taken against the persons, stated the draft [PTI]

Law firms advertise: Lawyers can’t solicit business in India, directly or indirectly, which means they can’t advertise their services. That hasn’t stopped Indian law firms from finding ways of creating a brand and gaining the attention of prospective clients, discusses [Mint]

Academic appreciation: NLU Jodhpur associate professor Prabhash Ranjan argues that the judiciary and the executive are ignoring the constitutional mandate to appoint distinguished jurists to the Supreme Court, while the Supreme Court is constitutionally bound to develop new legal principles and constitutional jurisprudence. Law professors would be perfect for the job [Hindu]

Placement trends: Out of an average batch of 110 law students, only 15 to 20 opt out of placements. Generally such graduates work as assistants to senior lawyer for four to five years before establishing their independent practice, writes the [Business Standard]

Abusive 498A: A Rajasthan HC writ challenging immediate arrests under section 498A (dowry harassment) and 407 (criminal breach of trust) of the IPC, alleges that 70 per cent of matrimonial disputes are converted into criminal cases by misuse of sections 498A and 406 [TOI]

23 November 2012

Supreme Court CrowdExclusive: Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) secretary KC Kaushik, who was censured by the body for allegedly advertising his son’s practice in the SCBA member directories, has accused additional solicitor general and SCBA vice president Rakesh Khanna and SCBA president PH Parekh of using their SCBA executive offices for personal gains.

31 August 2012

washing-powderThe other day a public relations (PR) agency called me and said that it really wanted an article written for Mint about one of its clients, a fairly well known Delhi lawyer. They said they wanted an interview with or a quote from that lawyer to appear by next week and they would arrange a meeting as soon as possible. As far as pitches for stories go, it was pretty weak.

27 April 2012

BCI website: Needs some work Either the Bar Council of India (BCI) should censure dozens of law firms for their singing and dancing websites, or it needs to be realistic and relax its strict advertising restrictions, argues Raghul Sudheesh.

05 October 2010
Is it “gentlemanly” by an advocate to be the self-styled “strong arm of law” and participate in the television reality show Big Boss?
31 March 2010

advertisement-coca-cola_by_Meanest_IndianThe Bar Council of Delhi has decided to frame a draft proposal to more stringently regulate law firms to prevent flouting of Bar Council of India (BCI) and Advocates Act rules and to strictly enforce the advertisement ban and publicity rules governing law firm websites.