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Florida CPA wins fight to overturn nonsolicitation laws.


For the time being at least, more than 16,000 Florida CPAs are free to solicit business and tell prospective clients how much they charge, following a U.S. District Court decision striking down two Florida laws as unconstitutional.

The state laws, which barred accountants from uninvited solicitations and bidding for business, were ruled unconstitutional after a three-year court battle waged by Richard Rampell, CPA, of the West Palm Beach firm of Rampell & Rampell. Judge Edward Rodgers ruled the laws violated the free-speech rights of CPAs and the state of Florida had failed to prove the government's interest was served by the two laws.

Rampell says he is now "actively pursuing new clients," even though the Florida Board of Accountancy has decided to appeal the decision. He is not surprised at the appeal and is "very confident that the opinion will be affirmed."

Alan Brout, a partner of BDO Seidman in New York and chairman of an American Institute of CPAs special committee on solicitation in 1980-81, called the ruling "inevitable."
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Publication:Journal of Accountancy
Date:Dec 1, 1989
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