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Delaware Bar Rules for Attorney Advertising

Navigating the Delaware bar rules for attorney advertising can be a confusing process. If you make a mistake, you might expose yourself to disciplinary actions. For this reason, it is important to hire an internet marketing company that understands the applicable bar rules for lawyers in Delaware.

If you are preparing to launch a new website or start a new internet marketing strategy, the first step is reading all of the bar rules that might apply. The applicable rules include the Delaware Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct (“DLRPC”) with Comments (effective January 1, 2019). The bar rules were created, in part, to ensure that all attorneys who advertise do so fairly and honestly. Over time, the bar rules have been amended to address special considerations that apply to internet marketing and website design.

In many respects, the rules track closely with the Model Rules from the American Bar Association. Before you redesign your law firm's website or start a new internet marketing campaign, it's important that you have a thorough understanding of applicable bar rules.

Rules for Communicating Attorney Services in Delaware

Rule 7.1 for communications concerning a lawyer's services states:

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.

Comment 2 to LPRC Rule 7.1 states:

Truthful statements that are misleading are also prohibited by this Rule. A truthful statement is misleading if it omits a fact necessary to make the lawyer's communication considered as a whole not materially misleading. A truthful statement is also misleading if there is a substantial likelihood that it will lead a reasonable person to formulate a specific conclusion about the lawyer or the lawyer's services for which there is no reasonable factual foundation.

The comment further discusses the issues of comparisons of lawyers' services and creating an unjustified expectation about the results.

Resources for Delaware Attorney Advertising 

Rules Governing Delaware Lawyers - Located in the Renaissance Centre in Wilmington, DE, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel ("ODC") is an Arm of the Supreme Court of Delaware, which assists the Court in regulating the practice of law. For this reason, ODC has the task of evaluating, investigating, and, if warranted, prosecuting lawyer misconduct. The public makes complaints regarding a Delaware lawyer's conduct to the ODC. Visit the website of the Delaware Courts to find information from the Office of Disciplinary Counsel. Find links to the new Rules Governing Delaware Lawyers which include:

  • Rules of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Subcommittee of the Board on Professional Responsibility (effective January 1, 2019);
  • Principles of Professionalism for Delaware Lawyers; Delaware Lawyers' Rules of Disciplinary Procedure (effective January 1, 2019); and
  • Delaware Lawyers' Rules of Professional Conduct with Comments (effective January 1, 2019).

Delaware Ethics Opinions Index - Visit the website for the Delaware State Bar Association to find an index of ethics opinions dated from 1978 to 2011. Find questions about whether different forms of advertising legal services conform with the Delaware Rules of Professional Conduct (“DLRPC”) including Rule 7.2 for advertising.

Delaware Rules of Professional Conduct - Read the rules in their entirety including Rule 7.2 for advertising and Rule 7.4 for communication of fields of practice and specialization.

Helping Attorneys in Delaware with Website Design and Internet Marketing

At Lawyer Legion, we developed this online attorney directory to help the public find a lawyer in the State of Delaware. This online attorney directory also provides information on legal organizations and lawyer referral services located throughout the state.