Friday, December 22, 2006

Florida Adopts New Lawyer Advertising Guidelines as of January 1, 2007

The New Year Brings New Lawyer Advertising Guidelines
By Margaret Grisdela

The Florida Bar rings in the New Year with amended guidelines for lawyer advertising, based on recommendations of The Florida Bar’s Advertising Task Force 2004. Keep your New Year’s resolution to stay in compliance on your marketing programs by following these simple steps.

1. All non-exempt TV and radio advertising must now be filed for review at least 15 days in advance of dissemination. (Rule 4-7.7. See Rule 4-7.2 for exemption guidelines.)

2. Communications between a lawyer and that lawyer’s family members, as well as communications requested by a prospective client, are now exempt from Subchapter 4-7 guidelines.

3. The “hiring disclosure” of 4-7.3 is no longer required in print advertising.

4. Words or statements required in an advertisement or direct mail piece under Rule 4-7.2 must now be “legible.” The previous requirement specifying minimum font size is now deleted.

5. A non-lawyer spokesperson who speaks on behalf of a lawyer or law firm must still be identified as a spokesperson.

Regulation of websites and Internet communications remains unchanged, as the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar – which seeks to regulate websites – appointed a Special Committee to further study the topic. The Florida Supreme Court also directed The Florida Bar to conduct additional study of lawyer advertising, which will include the opportunity for public comments.

Out-of-state lawyers who advertise in Florida must now comply with The Florida Bar’s advertising guidelines.

You can access a complete list of changes to the lawyer advertising guidelines online at or by contacting the author.

Margaret Grisdela is President of Legal Expert Connections, Inc., specializing in legal marketing and business development. She can be reached at