Delaware Bar Rules for Attorney Advertising
Before you redesign your law firm's website or start a new internet marketing campaign, you must pay attention to the Delaware Rules of Professional Conduct that are related to attorney advertising online. The rules about attorney advertising set forth by the Delaware State Bar are to ensure attorneys advertise in a fair and genuine manner. Additional information can be found in the comments to each rule and the advisory ethics opinions interpreting the rules.
Although the rules in Delaware are restrictive, an attorney can stay in full compliance while still having an extremely effective internet marketing campaign. Taking an ethical approach to marketing means following the letter and spirit of each rule. It's important to stay updated on Delaware Bar rules and to uphold them to avoid any type of disciplinary action. There are still multiple ways to market your firm online. Using search engine logistics and joining a lawyer referral service are two ways to promote your services to clients.
Resources for Delaware Attorney Advertising
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.
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.
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.
This article was last updated on October 9, 2018.