Behrens: Fourth Circuit Upholds West Virginia Law Regulating Misleading Drug and Device Lawsuit Ads

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Recht v. Morrisey, 32 F. 4th 398 (4th Cir. 2022), recently upheld a 2020 West Virginia statute that regulates advertisements soliciting claimants to file lawsuits involving pharmaceuticals or medical devices. The court rejected First Amendment challenges brought by two West Virginia plaintiffs’ attorneys and a client. West Virginia is one of a growing number of states that regulate misleading advertisements for legal services. The Recht case is the first time an appellate court has decided the constitutionality of one of these laws.

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