Arizona Bar Rules for Attorney Advertising
Attorneys who wish to advertise online must consult with the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct. All firms must follow rules and regulations on Internet advertising set forth by the Arizona Bar. Every aspect of marketing such as advertisements, terminology in content, and avoiding certainity language with clients. If an attorney chooses to not abide by these rules may face disciplinary actions or sanctions.
The Arizona Bar Rules of Professional Conduct may seem restrictive and over-the-top. However, the Arizona Bar wants to guarantee that all lawyers will promote themselves in a genuine manner. In addition, the Bar wants to avoid attorneys using marketing to oppress other attorneys. Even with the Rules, you can still advertise in a sufficient manner. Thoroughly understanding the way search engines function, social media platforms, and other relevant Internet marketing methods can help you have a strong website.
Arizona Bar Rules Resources
Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct - Find the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct that regulate attorney communications and website advertisement and marketing materials.
Arizona Ethics Opinion - Read the ethics opinions of the State Bar of Arizona which provides suggestions to attorneys in a variety of different hypothetical legal situations. Although these opinions are not mandatory, the opinions provide practical guidelines.
State Bar of Arizona's Website - Find information on the State Bar of Arizona's website including the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct, legal ethics opinions and an ethics hotline. The State Bar of Arizona is located at:
State Bar of Arizona
4201 N. 24th St., Ste. 200
Phoenix, AZ 85016
Phone: (602) 252-4804
Arizona Supreme Court - Visit the Arizona Supreme Court website for information on the court rules in Arizona, court opinions on various legal topics and miscellaneous information about the court's services. The Supreme Court is located at:
1501 W Washington St.
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Phone: (602) 452-3300
- Arizona General Website Bar Rule Guidelines
- Prohibited Statements on Arizona Lawyer Websites
- Past Case Results on Arizona Law Firm Websites
- Disclaimers on Arizona Attorney Websites
Arizona General Website Bar Rule Guidelines
Rule 7.2 of the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct govern attorney and law firm advertising, including electronic communication, content published on the internet and attorney or law firm advertising or marketing websites. All attorneys must abide by these rules when creating a website for advertising or marketing purposes.
Under the bar rules, the name of at least one attorney or law firm and office address must be included in any communications used for advertising that indicates the attorney is responsible for the content on the website or advertisement. This information must be clear and conspicuous and must be of the same size, color, duration, cadence, contrast, location and audibility that an ordinary person would be able to easily read, hear notice and understand.
Prohibited Statements Information on Arizona Lawyer Websites
According to Rule 7.1 of the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct, an attorney is not permitted to make or knowingly permit another person to make statements or communications on the lawyer's behalf that are misleading and false.
Under this Rule, a communication or statements may be misleading or false if it makes a material misrepresentation as to the law or facts, or omits a fact that is necessary to make a statement not materially misleading when taken as a whole.
Under the comments to Rule 7.1, a truthful statement can be misleading if it omits a fact that is necessary to make a statement not materially misleading when taken as a whole. Additionally, a truthful state can be misleading if it causes a reasonable person to create a baseless specific conclusion about the lawyer's services.
Rule 7.4 of the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct additionally state that an attorney may not claim they are a "specialist" in any field of law except:
- If the lawyer has been admitted to practice patent law under the United States Patent and Trademark Office;
- If the lawyer practices admiralty law, they may use the term "admiralty" or "proctor in admiralty"; or
- If the lawyer is certified by the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization or a national entity that has standards for certification the same as those established by the board, they may state the area of specialization they are certified in.
However, an attorney is permitted to state they do or do not practice is a particular field of law on their website as long as that statement is true. Therefore, attorneys can generally use terms such as "focuses on" instead of "specialized," "certified" or a "specialist."
Past Case Results on Arizona Law Firm Websites
The Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 7.1 also discuss statements about past case results in the comments sections. Truthful report of a lawyer's successes on a client's behalf may be misleading if potential clients perceive the information to mean the same results will be obtained in their case that is based on similar facts or charges.
Therefore, a disclaimer about past case results that is in clear and conspicuous language or presented in other qualifying language is essential to an attorney's website if the attorney decides to present past case results on their website.
Disclaimers on Arizona Attorney Websites
Under the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct, an attorney must have a clear and conspicuous disclaimer or some other qualifying language that would prevent an individual from perceiving a statement as false or misleading.
Disclaimers on advertisements in Arizona must be clear and conspicuous and must be of the same size, color, duration, cadence, contrast, location and audibility that an ordinary person would be able to easily read, hear notice and understand. Additionally, according to the comments of Rule 7.2, a disclaimer may not contradict or be inconsistent with any information that is presented on the advertisement.
Last updated on Thursday, October 11, 2018.