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State of Hawaii Rules of Professional Conduct

Before you start a marketing plan for your law firm, you’ll want to make sure you understand all of the Hawaii Bar guidelines for internet advertising. Luckily, a trusted marketing firm can help you understand these guidelines, as well as create a website that adheres to all of the Bar rules.

Hawaii’s advertising rules are very similar to the American Bar Model Rules.

More information on this and other regulations can be found using the resources listed below.


Hawai’i Rules of Professional Conduct – This resource provides the official Rules of Professional Conduct in Hawaii

Hawai’i State Judiciary – This website contains links to many helpful documents and resources for attorneys in Hawaii

Key Rules to be Aware of



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 of these Rules, a lawyer may advertise services through written, recorded, or electronic communication, including public media.

(b)  A lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer’s services except that a lawyer may:

(1)   pay the reasonable costs of advertisements or communications permitted by this Rule;

(2)   pay the usual charges of a not-for-profit lawyer referral service or qualified legal assistance organization, which charges, in addition to any referral fee, may include a fee calculated as a percentage of legal fees earned by the lawyer to whom the service or organization has referred a matter, provided that any such percentage fee shall be used only to pay the reasonable operating expenses of the service or organization and to fund public service activities of the service or organization, including the delivery of pro bono legal services; and

(3)   pay for the purchase of a law practice in accordance with Rule 1.17 of these Rules.

(c)   Any communication made pursuant to this Rule shall include the name of at least one lawyer responsible for its content.

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Christopher D. Thomas

christopher D. thomas