Texas Rules of Professional Conduct
The Texas State Bar has created rules regarding internet and website marketing, and it is essential that you follow these rules. If you don’t, you may be subject to disciplinary actions.
Because the Texas advertising rules are restrictive, and because you need to submit documents to the State in order to advertise, marketing your firm may feel like a daunting task. That’s why a trusted marketing firm can help you through every step to make sure your website is both ethical and effective.
The information below contains the rules and regulations the Texas Bar has on internet marketing. You may also want to read comments on the rules for further guidance on advertising in Texas.
Texas Rules of Professional Conduct – This resource will detail all of the rules in the state.
Texas State Bar Ethics Opinions – If you have questions after reading through the rules, this will be a helpful resource.
Key Rule to be Aware of
Rule 7.01. Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services
(a) A lawyer shall not make or sponsor a false or misleading communication about the qualifications or services of a lawyer or law firm. Information about legal services must be truthful and nondeceptive. A communication is false or misleading if it contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading. A statement is misleading if there is a substantial likelihood that it will lead a reasonable person to formulate a specific conclusion about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services for which there is no reasonable factual foundation, or if the statement is substantially likely to create unjustified expectations about the results the lawyer can achieve.
(b) This Rule governs all communications about a lawyer’s services, including advertisements and solicitation communications. For purposes of Rules 7.01 to 7.06:
(1) An “advertisement” is a communication substantially motivated by pecuniary gain that is made by or on behalf of a lawyer to members of the public in general, which offers or promotes legal services under circumstances where the lawyer neither knows nor reasonably should know that the recipients need legal services in particular matters.
(2) A “solicitation communication” is a communication substantially motivated by pecuniary gain that is made by or on behalf of a lawyer to a specific person who has not sought the lawyer’s advice or services, which reasonably can be understood as offering to provide legal services that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know the person needs in a particular matter.
(c) Lawyers may practice law under a trade name that is not false or misleading. A law firm name may include the names of current members of the firm and of deceased or retired members of the firm, or of a predecessor firm, if there has been a succession in the firm identity. The name of a lawyer holding a public office shall not be used in the name of a law firm, or in communications on its behalf, during any substantial period in which the lawyer is not actively and regularly practicing with the firm. A law firm with an office in more than one jurisdiction may use the same name or other professional designation in each jurisdiction, but identification of the lawyers in an office of the firm shall indicate the jurisdictional limitations on those not licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the office is located.
(d) A statement or disclaimer required by these Rules shall be sufficiently clear that it can reasonably be understood by an ordinary person and made in each language used in the communication. A statement that a language is spoken or understood does not require a statement or disclaimer in that language.
(e) A lawyer shall not state or imply that the lawyer can achieve results in the representation by unlawful use of violence or means that violate these Rules or other law.
(f) A lawyer may state or imply that the lawyer practices in a partnership or other business entity only when that is accurate.
(g) If a lawyer who advertises the amount of a verdict secured on behalf of a client knows that the verdict was later reduced or reversed, or that the case was settled for a lesser amount, the lawyer must state in each advertisement of the verdict, with equal or greater prominence, the amount of money that was ultimately received by the client.
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