The Superior Court has held that two former clients cannot sue their attorney for violations of the Rhode Island Deceptive Trade Practices Act ("the Act") based on attorney advertising because such advertising is regulated by the Rhode Island Supreme Court.
Plaintiffs brought a three count complaint against their former attorneys alleging they were misled by the attorneys' advertising. The third count alleged defendants had committed violations of the Act. The Act includes an exemption for "actions or transactions permitted under laws administered by the department of business regulation or other regulatory body or officer acting under statutory authority of the state or the United States."
Defendants argued the exemption applied to them because attorney advertising is regulated by the Rhode Island Supreme Court pursuant to another statute which states that the Supreme Court "shall by general or special rules regulate the admission of attorneys to practice in all the courts of the state." The Superior Court agreed and dismissed Count III of the Complaint.
Stafford v. Levine, 2013 WL 3369185 (R.I. Super. July 2, 2013).