New Mexico Bar Rules for Attorney Advertising
The New Mexico Rules of Professional Conduct related to internet marketing and website design establish regulations for attorneys who wish to advertise online. The rules related to attorney advertising can be found at Rule 7.1 through Rule 7.5. The rules in New Mexico track closely with the Model Rules from the American Bar Association. Additional information can be found in the comments and the Ethics Advisory Opinions interpreting the rules.
The marketing rules set forth by the New Mexico Bar may seem limiting. However, it's important to stay in compliance if you want to avoid any disciplinary sanctions or actions. An attorney can market themselves effectively through the use of search terms, search engine algorithims, participating in lawyer referral services and other online advertising techniques
Resources for New Mexico Bar Rules
New Mexico Ethics Advisory Opinions - Visit the State Bar of New Mexico website for information about the Ethics Advisory Opinions Committee Formal Opinions from 1983 through 2014. Search opinions on advertising and solicitation, the attorney / client relationship, names of firms. referrals and referral services.
Lawyer advertising still stirs questions of appropriateness - Article in the Albuquerque Journal dated Monday, March 07, 2011. The article briefly explains the history of attorney advertisements in New Mexico and the current restrictions.
Rules for Promoting Attorney Services in New Mexico
RULE 16-701 for Communications Concerning a Lawyer's Services, current with amendments received through December 1, 2013, provides:
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; omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading; or contains a testimonial about, or endorsement of, the lawyer that is misleading.
Requirements for Attorney Advertising in New Mexico
RULE 16-702 for Advertising, current with amendments through December 1, 2013, provides:
A. Permitted Advertising. Subject to the requirements of Rules 16-701 and 16-703 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, a lawyer may advertise services through written, recorded or electronic communication, including public media.
B. Payments for Referrals. A lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer's services except that a lawyer may:
(1) pay the reasonable costs of advertisements or communications permitted by this rule;
(2) pay the usual charges of a legal service plan or a not-for-profit or qualified lawyer referral service. A qualified lawyer referral service is a lawyer referral service that has been approved by an appropriate regulatory authority;
(3) pay for a law practice in accordance with Rule 16-117 of the Rules of Professional Conduct; and
(4) refer clients to another lawyer or a non-lawyer professional pursuant to an agreement not otherwise prohibited under these rules that provides for the other person to refer clients or customers to the lawyer, if
(i) the reciprocal referral agreement is not exclusive, and
(ii) the client is informed of the existence and nature of the agreement.
C. Required Information in Communications. Any communication made pursuant to this rule shall include the name and office address of at least one lawyer or law firm responsible for its content.
Communicating Fields of Practice in New Mexico
RULE 16-704 for Communication of Fields of Practice and Specialization, current with amendments through December 1, 2013, provides:
A. Communication of Fields of Practice. A lawyer may communicate the fact that the lawyer does or does not practice in particular fields of law.
B. Patent Practice. A lawyer admitted to engage in patent practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office may use the designation "Patent Attorney" or a substantially similar designation.
C. Admiralty Practice. A lawyer engaged in admiralty practice may use the designation "Admiralty", "Proctor in Admiralty" or a substantially similar designation.
D. Certification by Organization. A lawyer shall not state or imply that a lawyer is certified as a specialist in a particular field of law, unless:
(1) the lawyer has been certified as a specialist by the New Mexico Board of Legal Specialization, an organization that has been approved by an appropriate authority of another state, or by an organization that has been accredited by the American Bar Association; and
(2) the name of the certifying organization is clearly identified in the communication.
This article was last updated on October 10, 2018.