Sun, Aug. 31, 2003

Sports Glory to Adorn Sports Counsel Brzank

CK - Washington.   The German Supreme Court in Karlsruhe decided in the matter BVerfG, 1 BvR 2108/02, on August 4, 2003 that attorneys with major credits in active sports may advertise their sports accomplishments in their specialized practice.

Ines Brzank, a former member of the former East German national team and now a sports counsel in private practice, advertised this fact in a brochure. Competing attorney Kay Achtelik found that to constitute a violation of professional ethics but the Supreme Court sided with her.

The court pointed to Art. 12 (1) of the constitution which permits professionals to publish factual, non-misleading information which demonstrates the professional's life experience even if unrelated to the practice of law. The court went beyond the mere acknowledgement that the constitional rights of the professional may be impermissibly violated by unreasonable restrictions. The court also expressed the view that unrelated information may be an important service to the potential customer or client who looks for the comfort that an expert in his field can provide. It referred the case back to the lower court for further factual analysis.

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