Florida Not A Fan Of The Internet; Potentially Rules Out Lawyer Blogs

from the nice-work dept

You may recall recently that the Florida Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee issued an opinion saying that judges shouldn't use Facebook to connect with any lawyers. This made little sense since judges can, in fact, be friendly with lawyers in real life. There must be something in the water down there, as new rules from the Florida Bar are so broad that they could potentially ban lawyer blogs because of an attempt to more carefully limit how lawyers "advertise" (found via Michael Scott):
The substantive rules provide, among other things, that an attorney website can't "describe or characterize the quality of legal services being offered." Rule 4-7.2(c)(2) Thus, I can't tell you in this post that I'm committed to using my legal skills to provide positive results for my clients (even though this is true). And I can't give you information regarding my past results, so I probably shouldn't tell you the true information that I lost a case I argued in a Florida court as cooperating counsel for the ACLU in a "John Doe" case. Rule 4-7.2(c)(1)(F). I also can't include testimonials; therefore, I request any former students or clients not to post comments saying what a wonderful lawyer and/or professor I am. Dramatizations and many other creative marketing devices are also verboten. Of course, my personal concerns about the new bar rules are trivial when set beside those of all the Florida law firms who must now spend vast sums of money to revamp their websites to try to comply with the new rules, not to mention the concerns of non-Florida firms that hire Florida attorneys.
That same blog post, by Lyrissa Lidsky, reasonably points out that the First Amendment should protect legal advertising as long as it's not inherently misleading. Of course, this issue has come up in the past as well. Five years ago, we wrote about concerns that laws in Kentucky required "filing fees" for lawyers to pay for "each advertisement" that would make legal blogging in the state prohibitively expensive.

Filed Under: advertising, blogging, florida, lawyers


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jan 2010 @ 7:48pm

    Re:

    Ie: look at Larry Parker and many other big law firms. I see their commercials all the time and they say they're committed to their clients and whatnot. There are tons of lawyers advertising on T.V. and I'm sure it's allowed in the states where it's banned from the Internet. Again, class warfare is what it is. It's nothing less.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: I Invented Email
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.