LAW 565-001 – Professional Responsibility

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A lawyer shall not make a false or misleading communication about the lawyer or the lawyer's services. A communication is false or misleading if it contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading.

  • Truthful statements that are misleading also prohibited by this rule. Comment 2.
  • (If it leads a reasonable person to form a conclusion for which there is no reasonable factual foundation.)
  1. A lawyer may communicate information regarding the lawyer’s services through any media.
  2. A lawyer shall not compensate, give or promise anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer’s services except that a lawyer may:
    1. pay the reasonable costs of advertisements or communications permitted by this Rule;
    2. pay the usual charges of a legal service plan or a not-for-profit or qualified lawyer referral service;
    3. pay for a law practice in accordance with Rule 1.17;
    4. refer clients to another lawyer or a nonlawyer professional pursuant to an agreement not otherwise prohibited under these Rules that provides for the other person to refer clients or customers to the lawyer, if:
      1. the reciprocal referral agreement is not exclusive; and
      2. the client is informed of the existence and nature of the agreement; and
    5. give nominal gifts as an expression of appreciation that are neither intended nor reasonably expected to be a form of compensation for recommending a lawyer’s services.
  3. A lawyer shall not state or imply that a lawyer is certified as a specialist in a particular field of law, unless:
    1. the lawyer has been certified as a specialist by an organization that has been approved by an appropriate authority of the state or the District of Columbia or a U.S. Territory or that has been accredited by the American Bar Association; and
    2. the name of the certifying organization is clearly identified in the communication.
  4. Any communication made under this Rule must include the name and contact information of at least one lawyer or law firm responsible for its content.
Solicitation
  1. Solicitation” or “solicit” denotes a communication initiated by or on behalf of a lawyer or law firm that is directed to a specific person the lawyer knows or reasonably should know needs legal services in a particular matter and that offers to provide, or reasonably can be understood as offering to provide, legal services for that matter.
  2. A lawyer shall not solicit professional employment by live person-to-person contact when a significant motive for the lawyer’s doing so is the lawyer’s or law firm’s pecuniary gain, unless the contact is with a:
    1. lawyer;
    2. person who has a family, close personal, or prior business or professional relationship with the lawyer or law firm; or
    3. person who routinely uses for business purposes the type of legal services offered by the lawyer.
  3. A lawyer shall not solicit professional employment even when not otherwise prohibited by paragraph (b), if:
    1. the target of the solicitation has made known to the lawyer a desire not to be solicited by the lawyer; or
    2. the solicitation involves coercion, duress or harassment.
  4. This Rule does not prohibit communications authorized by law or ordered by a court or other tribunal.
  5. Notwithstanding the prohibitions in this Rule, a lawyer may participate with a prepaid or group legal service plan operated by an organization not owned or directed by the lawyer that uses live person-to-person contact to enroll members or sell subscriptions for the plan from persons who are not known to need legal services in a particular matter covered by the plan.
  1. A lawyer may communicate the fact that the lawyer does or does not practice in particular fields of law.
  2. A lawyer admitted to engage in patent practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office may use the designation "Patent Attorney" or a substantially similar designation.
  3. A lawyer engaged in Admiralty practice may use the designation "Admiralty," "Proctor in Admiralty" or a substantially similar designation.
  4. A lawyer shall not state or imply that a lawyer is certified as a specialist in a particular field of law, unless:
    1. the lawyer has been certified as a specialist by an organization that has been approved by an appropriate state authority or that has been accredited by the American Bar Association; and
    2. the name of the certifying organization is clearly identified in the communication.