One advertises that he’s ”THE personal injury lawyer.” The other says he’s “for the people.” While both claims are subject to debate, the one indisputable fact is that Philadelphia personal injury lawyer Jeff Rosenbaum’s false advertising lawsuit against his Orlando counterpart, John Morgan, is starting to heat up.
Both men are TV titans when it comes to advertising their law firms on the daytime airwaves. But Rosenbaum has asked the federal judge presiding over his lawsuit against Morgan & Morgan for an injunction on Monday that would pull Morgan’s commercials from television for the duration of the case.
Rosenbaum sued Morgan’s firm and its principals in late September claiming the firm falsely advertises that it represents clients in Philadelphia and the surrounding area when, according to the complaint, it only has one attorney in Pennsylvania who has “little or no experience in handling personal injury matters.”
The Philadelphia lawyer claimed that his firm has experienced a decline in the overall number of new clients it represents because of Morgan & Morgan’s advertisements. Subsequently, the firm also alleged its client-to-client referrals are down because of the allegedly deceptive advertising.
Rosenbaum even followed up with an attack ad against Morgan & Morgan, urging viewers not to be “fooled” by Morgan, adding, “If you want a lawyer who actually lives and works in Pennsylvania, and who will be personally involved in your case, call me, Jeff Rosenbaum.”
In a memorandum filed along with the injunction motion on Monday, Rosenbaum argued that Morgan & Morgan’s “false advertising claims deceive and confuse the consuming public, and this deception will only continue absent the issuance of an injunction.”
“An injunction would therefore best serve the public by forcing defendants to cease its false advertising and ensure that each consumer makes his or her decisions based on true and accurate information,” Rosenbaum said in the memorandum.
Along with the injunction request Monday, Rosenbaum also filed a motion for expedited discovery, seeking to kick the case into high gear “in order that a sufficient record be developed before the hearing on the preliminary injunction motion, so that the court may render the most informed decision possible on the important issues raised in this case.”
Morgan & Morgan’s attorney, Gaetan J. Alfano of Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti in Philadelphia, declined to comment on Rosenbaum’s motions.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleged false advertising in violation of the Lanham Act and unfair methods of competition under Pennsylvania common law.
Rosenbaum also claimed Morgan & Morgan, with its multimillion-dollar budget, has outspent every injury firm in the region in terms of advertising.
“During the 12-month period preceding August of 2017, defendants have spent more money advertising in the Philadelphia market than any other personal injury firm,” the complaint said.
“Defendants have willfully and intentionally misrepresented the nature of their practice and their involvement with potential personal injury claims in an effort to deceive the consumers in the Philadelphia market,” it continued.
P.J. D’Annunzio can be contacted at 215-557-2315 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PJDannunzioTLI.