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Florida Attorney Marketing Law Rule 4-7

Rule 4-7 has been updated and now includes language regarding advertising in social media as well as other internet exposure. Most attorneys that I’ve chatted with in the past month or so know that there has been some updating, yet are not familiar with the actual new rules. The following is an extract of just one rule, which was updated by the Standing Committee on Advertising (FL BAR) on March 9th, 2010.
 
Effective January 1, 2010, websites are subject to all regulations set forth in Rule 4-7.2, including prohibitions against past results, testimonials, and statements characterizing the quality of legal services. Rule 4-7.2(c) Prohibitions and General Regulations Governing Content of Advertisements and Unsolicited Written Communications. Of specific interest should be Rule 4-7.2(c)(F) contains any reference to past successes or results obtained; Something that some firms are not in compliance with. Luckily a rather easy change/update to their websites.
 
The following UPDATED notice is taken from the FL Bar Website: NOTICE: The Supreme Court of Florida has issued a revised opinion amending the rules regulating lawyer advertisements over the Internet. Websites will be subject to the general advertising regulations set forth in Rule 4-7.2.
 
Websites will remain exempt from the filing requirement under Rule 4-7.8. The jurisdictional disclosure requirement will no longer be required on the homepage, but will be required to appear on the website. Requirements for direct e-mail will be reinstated: a statement of qualifications will be required and a disclosure if a lawyer other than the one whose name appears in the advertisement will handle the matter will be required. Direct e-mail also will be required to begin the subject line with the statement “legal advertisement.”
 
The changes will be effective July 1, 2010 (the Supreme Court changed the effective date). In Re: Amendments to Rules Regulating The Florida Bar – Rule 4-7.6, Computer Accessed Communications (PDF), 34 Fla. L. Weekly S627 (Fla. Nov. 19, 2009), Case No. SC08-1181. So what does all of this mean? Well since some of the rules have changed, each attorney should look at their marketing plans including on-line marketing efforts to be sure you are in compliance with the changes in Rule 4-7 of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar.
 
Questions? or need help conducting a marketing audit? I do audits all day long and am just a phone call or eMail away Brian@FloridaWebsiteMarketing.com
Author: Attorney Articles