New Jersey Bar Guidelines and Rules
In New Jersey, it’s very important not to give false or misleading information on your law firm website or advertisement. This could include misrepresenting a state or federal law, comparing your services to another attorney (without objective evidence), or making a promise that you will help your potential customer win their case.
These rules and other rules can be found in the New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct, and if you break any of these rules, you may be subject to some sort of disciplinary action.
Luckily, an experienced marketing firm can help you create a law firm website that follows all the rules while still being effective.
For more information on the New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct, see the resources below.
Key Rule to be Aware of
RPC 7.1 Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Service
(a) A lawyer shall not make false or misleading communications about the lawyer, the lawyer’s services, or any matter in which the lawyer has or seeks a professional involvement. A communication is false or misleading if it:
(1) contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading;
(2) is likely to create an unjustified expectation about results the lawyer can achieve, or states or implies that the lawyer can achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law; 42
(3) compares the lawyer’s services with other lawyers’ services, unless
(i) the name of the comparing organization is stated,
(ii) the basis for the comparison can be substantiated, and
(iii) the communication includes the following disclaimer in a readily discernible manner: “No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey”; or
(4) relates to legal fees other than:
(i) a statement of the fee for an initial consultation;
(ii) a statement of the fixed or contingent fee charged for a specific legal service, the description of which would not be misunderstood or be deceptive;
(iii) a statement of the range of fees for specifically described legal services, provided there is a reasonable disclosure of all relevant variables and considerations so that the statement would not be misunderstood or be deceptive;
(iv) a statement of specified hourly rates, provided the statement makes clear that the total charge will vary according to the number of hours devoted to the matter, and in relation to the varying hourly rates charged for the services of different individuals who may be assigned to the matter;
(v) the availability of credit arrangements; and
(vi) a statement of the fees charged by a qualified legal assistance organization in which the lawyer participates for specific legal services the description of which would not be misunderstood or be deceptive
(b) It shall be unethical for a lawyer to use an advertisement or other related communication known to have been disapproved by the Committee on Attorney Advertising, or one substantially the same as the one disapproved, until or unless modified or reversed by the Advertising Committee or as provided by Rule 1:19A-3(d).