If you want to redesign your firm's website or start a new online marketing campaign, it's important that you pay attention to the Rhode Island Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct related to internet marketing. The promotion of the law-related services must comply with Rules 7.1 through 7.3, dealing with advertising and solicitation.
The first step to understanding the applicable bar rules for attorney advertising requires reading each rule in its entirety. Additional information can be found in the comments to each rule and the advisory ethics opinions interpreting the rules. Although it is not binding on the court, comments and commentary are provided by the rules committee for interpretive assistance.
Although the rules in the State of Rhode Island 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.
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Rhode Island Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct- Read the rules related to information about legal services found in Part 7, Rule 7.1 for Communications Concerning a Lawyer's Services, Rule 7.2 for Advertising, Rule 7.3 for Direct Contact with Prospective Clients, Rule 7.4 for Communication of Fields of Practice and Specialization and Rule 7.5 for Firm Names and Letterheads. Learn more about the disclaimer requirements including a disclaimer that "The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers in the general practice of law. The court does not license or certify any lawyer as an expert or specialist in any particular field of practice." (As adopted by the court on February 16, 2007, effective on April 15, 2007.)
Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct - Visit the website for the Rhode Island Bar Association to find an interactive version of the Rules of Professional Conduct with terminology, comments, scope, a comparison with the American Bar Association (ABA) model rules, Comparative Analysis of Rhode Island Rule, references and commentary.
This article was last updated on Tuesday, June 11, 2019.