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


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  1. icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), 15 Jan 2010 @ 8:44am

    Re: Re: Not so sure...

    "How to summon a lawyer:
    Chant "Billable Hours" until one shows..."

    I thought you also had to do the chanting in front of the bathroom mirror with all the lights off, then they show up and kill you. I'm pretty sure that's what you need to do to summon a lawyer.

    ....well, either that or change your name to OJ....

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