Law is a profession ripe with tradition. This profession is one of the few self-regulating professions and is regulated by a plethora of professional principles, ethical opinions, and related common law. It is well known that, historically, the legislation itself has slothfully corrected to integrate technological advances within its own parameters. This is true concerning the ethical principles of professional conduct. However, as more and more legal professionals are now turning to the web to promote their practice through legal sites, blogs, and other social media outlets, there will become a heightened need for additional regulation regarding ethical advertising online.
The American Bar Association ABA has draft version ethical principles for countries to adopt and attorneys to follow. Today, these principles are known as the Model Rules of Professional Conduct the Rules and have been adopted by the ABA’s House of Delegates in 1983. These Rules were modified from the Model Code of Professional Responsibility. Moreover, the precursor to both was really the 1908 Canons or Professional Ethics. As mentioned, the Rules Are not really binding on a The Stephens Law Firm until their state has adopted them or any other associated professional rules. Currently, all states except for California have adopted the ABA’s Rules in part. The majority of the countries have adopted the ABA’s Rules in full with small alterations or additions to them. Other states, like New York, have adopted the ABA’s Rules but comprised somewhat substantial modifications.
The Rules and each state’s compilations do include provisions related to advertising and solicitation. Based on the condition, the distinction between all the terms could be significant or minimal. Generally, advertising refers to any private or public communication made by or on behalf of a lawyer or law firm about the services offered for the main purpose of which is for retention of the attorney or law firm’s services. By comparison, solicitation is a kind of promotion, but more especially is initiated by or for the attorney or law firm and is directed to or targeted at a certain group of persons, family or friends, or legal representatives for the main purpose of which is also for retention of the attorney or law firm’s services.