Before you launch a new website or internet marketing strategy, be sure to read all of the Mississippi Bar rules related to attorney advertising. These rules outline the requirements an attorney must follow when marketing their services on their website or in an internet marketing campaign.
The ethical requirements for lawyer advertisement is located in Rule 7 of the Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC). Rules 7.1 through 7.7, MRPC, cover different issues related to communications and advertising regarding a lawyer's services.
These rules include a requirement that contain advertisements be submitted to the Bar prior to their dissemination. Attorneys in Mississippi should review these rules, as well as the "Policies and Procedures for Lawyer Advertising," prior to disseminating or publishing their advertisement.
Rule 7.5(b)(8), MRPC, exempts internet web pages viewed via a web browser, if the search is initiated by a person without solicitation from the attorney. More detailed rules regarding attorney advertising on a law firm's websites can be found in Ethics Opinion Number 252.
The purpose of the Bar Rules is for all lawyers in Mississippi to advertise fairly and honestly. Those who do not follow these rules may be subject to disciplinary actions.
For this reason, it is important to hire an internet marketing and website design company that understands the applicable bar rules in Michigan for your law firm's website.
Many of the bar rules for attorney advertising can be found in the section on "Information About Legal Services" that govern the promotion of the law-related services and deal with advertising and solicitation. Additional guidance can be found in the comments to each rule. In many respects, the bar rules in Mississippi track closely with the Model Rules from the American Bar Association.
If you are interested in finding an internet marketing and website design company that understands the bar rules, then contact our parent company, Internet Lava, LLC. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss designing a better website and internet marketing strategy.
Mississippi Rules of Court - Visit the website for the State of Mississippi Judiciary, Administrative Office of Courts to find the Mississippi Rules of Court including the Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct.
Mississippi Policies & Procedures for Lawyer Advertising - Visit the website of the Mississippi Bar which were approved by Order of the Supreme Court of Mississippi on December 9, 2004. In accordance with Rule 7.5(g), MRPC, the Office of General Counsel of the Mississippi Bar promulgates Policies and Procedures for submission of advertisements by members of the Mississippi Bar. Find information on policies and procedures for lawyer advertising, a checklist for compliance, and frequently asked questions.
Mississippi Lawyer Advertising Checklist - Visit the website of the Mississippi Bar to find a checklist of rujles for advertising. Rule 7.5(c)(1-4), of the Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC) outlines the items required for each advertising submission as well as the fee required per submission depending upon whether it is submitted prior to or after the advertisement has been disemminated or published.
Rule 7.5(c)(1-4) of the Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC) sets out a checklist of times necessary for each type of advertisement.
The copy of the ad must be submitted in the form in which it is being disseminated to the public or published. For instance, a copy of a video must be submitted as a video. An audio must be submitted as an audio. A print advertisement must be submitted in print. A photograph must be submitted as a photograph. Outdoor advertisements such as a billboard must be submitted in a photograph or other accurate replicas.
For video or audio files, a written transcript of the ad must also be submitted.
One of the most common mistakes for advertising by law firms resolves around the submission requirements. In Mississippi, certain policies and procedures exist for the submission of advertisements to the Office of General Counsel for the Mississippi Bar (OGCMB). The rules were approved by Order of the Supreme Court of Mississippi on December 9, 2004. The Office of General Counsel of the Mississippi Bar has promulgates rules for the submission of advertisements by attorneys in Mississippi.
Prior to the first dissemination of the ad, the copy or recording of the ad must be submitted to the OGCMB. The fees required for the submissions depend on whether it is failed timely or not. The submission must be filed prior to the "first dissemination" in order for it to be considered timely. For a timely filed submission, the fee is $25. For an untimely submission, the fee is $150.
The Mississippi Bar rules define an advertisement as an "active quest for clients involving a public or non-public communication." The term "advertisement" includes communications over the "telephone, television, radio, motion picture, computer-accessed communication, newspaper, sign, directory, listing or though written communication." See Rule 7.2(a), MRPC.
Certain types of advertisements are exempt from the submission requirement as provided in Rule 7.5(b). The type of ads that are exempt can include telephone directory advertisement, certain types of notices or announcement, business cards or letterhead, signage at the office, paid listings in law directories addressed primarily to other legal professionals, many types of internet web pages, some informative or scholarly writings, mailings to existing or former clients, written communications sent to the viewer upon request. The exemptions also apply to ads that "contains no illustrations and no information other than that set forth in Rules 7.2 and 7.4."
A copy or recording of any advertisement to be published shall be submitted to the Office of General Counsel of the Mississippi Bar (OGCMB) prior to its first dissemination. In accordance with Rule 7.2(a), MRPC, an advertisement is an active quest for clients involving a public or non-public communication. The term "advertisement" includes, but is not limited to, communication by means of telephone, television, radio, motion picture, computer-accessed communication, newspaper, sign, directory, listing or though written communication.
Many types of advertising are exempt from the mandatory submission requirement as explained in Rule 7.5(b), MRPC, including iInternet Web pages viewed via a Web browser, in a search initiated by a person without solicitation.
This article was last updated on Friday, May 31, 2019.