West Virginia Bar Guidelines and Rules
Your West Virginia firm will need to follow the State Bar of West Virginia’s advertising rules if you wish to have an online marketing presence. If you’re not careful, you may be subject to disciplinary actions.
Before you make any marketing plan, be sure to read through the rules listed by the West Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct. For example, you cannot claim that you are a specialist in any practice area of law.
These guidelines can be complicated, which is why you’ll want to contact a trusted marketing team that understands the Bar rules to ensure your website and advertisements follow the guidelines listed.
West Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys – this link contains the rules of professional conduct for Attorneys in West Virginia.
West Virginia Rules Governing Lawyers and Judges – this link contains the Rules of Professional Conduct and Disciplinary Procedure in West Virginia.
Key rules to be aware of
Rule 7.1. Communications concerning a lawyer’s services.
A lawyer shall not make a false or misleading communication about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services. A communication is false or misleading if it:
(a) contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading;
(b) 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; or
(c) compares the lawyer’s services with other lawyer’s services, unless the comparison can be factually substantiated.
Rule 7.2. Advertising.
(a) Subject to the requirements of Rules 7.1 and 7.3, a lawyer may advertise services through public media, such as a telephone directory, legal directory, newspaper or other periodical, outdoor advertising, radio or television, or through written or recorded communication.
(b) A copy or recording of an advertisement or communication shall be kept for two years after its last dissemination along with a record of when and where it was used.
(c) A lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer’s services, except that a lawyer may pay the reasonable cost of advertisements or communications permitted by this rule; may pay the usual charges of a not-for-profit lawyer referral service or other legal service organization; and may pay for a law practice in accordance with Rule 1.17.
(d) Any communication made pursuant to this rule shall include the name of at least one lawyer responsible for its content.