BY SVIATLANA LIASHCHYNA
as seen in Issue-35 of a360inc's Compliance Newsletter
In August, the American Bar Association (ABA) amended the Model Rules of Professional Conduct related to legal advertising. The purpose of the modifications is to modernize and simplify the advertising rules for lawyers to reflect changes in the existing legal landscape. In recent years, individual states have modified the advertising rules and this has caused a significant discrepancy in approach to this complex area. In this article, we will summarize the adopted modifications and share some compliance considerations related to legal marketing.
Prior to the 1977 Supreme Court decision in Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, lawyers were not allowed to advertise their services. In Bates, the court ruled that a lawyer advertising is considered commercial speech, which is entitled to the protections of the First Amendment. The decision allowed lawyers to advertise in a manner that is not misleading to members of the general public. The decision also rejected the prohibitions of advertising by lawyers as “an antiquated rule of etiquette.”
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