A Lubbock, Texas lawyer has filed suit against against the Texas Department of Insurance, Worker’s Compensation Division because the Texas Dept. of Insurance sent him a "cease and desist" letter. The TDI had sent John Gibson a letter warning him to stop using the words "Texas" and "worker’s compensation" in the web address. Mr. Gibson operates a web site called www.texasworkerscomplaw.com. The TDI accused Mr. Gibson of violating a provision of the Texas Labor Code which prohibits use of the words "texas" and "workers compensation" in connection with advertising and solicitation for business. In his lawsuit, Mr. Gibson argues this provision is unconstitutional as a violation of the First Amendment. See Texas Lawyer report.
I am sure that provision must date from the bad ole days of workers compensation litigation, which at one time was lucrative. Workers compensation was the subject of much advertising as late as the 1980’s prior to so-called tort reform. Now, very few lawyers practice workers compensation law. More importantly, blogs have been seen by most observers as not advertising and more as an educational tool. For example, law firm news letters are exempt from the advertising rules because they are seen as more educational than solicitations for business. This will be an interesting lawsuit as it explores the nature of blogs.