Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Florida Bar Attorney Advertising Proposals

The Florida Bar submitted proposed attorney advertising amendments to the Florida Supreme Court on July 5th. Here are some highlights:

- Information on a law firm's website remains exempt from the filing
requirements, as do safe harbor ads, legal directory listings, firm
announcements, and client marketing materials.

- A re-creation or staging of an event must contain a prominently displayed disclaimer, "DRAMATIZATION. NOT AN ACTUAL EVENT." For example, a re-creation of a car accident must contain the disclaimer.

- When an actor is used as a spokesperson, there must be a prominent disclaimer.

- Testimonials will be permissible if clients as consumers address matters of courtesy, promptness, efficiency, and professional demeanor.

- Every advertisement that contains information about the lawyer's fee, including a contingent fee, must disclose all fees and costs that the client will be liable for. If there are costs for which the client is responsible, the advertisement must disclose this fact.

- If both fees and costs are contingent on the outcome of a personal injury case, the statements "No Fees or Costs If No Recovery" and "No Recovery - No Fees or Costs" are permissible.

Read the full proposed Florida Bar advertising amendments here.

While the proposal is under review, law firms are advised to adhere to the current rules while anticipating compliance with future requirements as well.

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