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South Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct

With the help of a law firm marketing team, you will be able to follow all of the advertising rules in South Dakota.

Reading through the South Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct will be one of the most helpful things you can do before creating an internet marketing plan. If you fail to adhere to all of the rules, you may be subject to disciplinary actions against you and your firm.

For resources regarding the South Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct, please utilize the resources listed below.


South Dakota Rules of Professional Conduct – This resource will contain the full list of rules for the state.

South Dakota State Bar Ethics Opinions – Do you have questions after reading through the rules? This resource will help.

Key Rule to be Aware of


Rule 7.1 – Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services

(a)Definitions. For the purpose of this Rule 7.1, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(1) “communication” means any message or offer made by or on behalf of a lawyer concerning the availability of the lawyer for professional employment which is directed to any former, present, or prospective client, including, but not limited to, the following:

(i) any use of firm name, trade name, fictitious name, or other professional designation of such lawyer;
(ii) any stationery, letterhead, business card, sign, brochure, or other comparable written material describing such lawyer;
(iii) any advertisement, regardless of medium, of such lawyer, directed to the general public or any significant portion thereof; or
(iv) any unsolicited correspondence from a lawyer directed to any person or entity; and
(2) “lawyer” means an individual lawyer and any association of lawyers for the practice of law, including a partnership, a professional corporation, limited liability company or any other association.
(b)Purpose of Communications. All communications shall be predominantly informational. As used in this Rule 7.1, “predominantly informational” means that, in both quantity and quality, the communication of factual information rationally related to the need for and selection of a lawyer predominates and that the communication includes only a minimal amount of content designed to attract attention to and create interest in the communication.
(c)False or Misleading Communications. 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:

(1) contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the communication considered as a whole not materially misleading;
(2) contains a prediction, warranty or guarantee regarding the future success of representation by the lawyer or is likely to create an unjustified expectation about results the lawyer can achieve;
(3) contains an opinion, representation, implication or self-laudatory statement regarding the quality of the lawyer’s legal services which is not susceptible of reasonable verification by the public;
(4) contains information based on the lawyer’s past success without a disclaimer that past success cannot be an assurance of future success because each case must be decided on its own merits;
(5) compares the lawyer’s services with other lawyers’ services, unless the comparison can be factually substantiated;
(6) states or implies that the lawyer actually represents clients in a particular area of practice when the lawyer refers a significant number of such clients to other lawyers for representation with respect to all or a significant aspect of the particular practice area;
(7) states or implies that the lawyer is experienced in a particular area of practice unless significant experience in such practice area can be factually substantiated;
(8) states or implies that the lawyer is in a position to improperly influence any court or other public body or office;
(9) states or implies the existence of a relationship between the lawyer and a government agency or instrumentality;
(10) states or implies that a lawyer has a relationship to any other lawyer unless such relationship in fact exists and is close, personal, continuous and regular;
(11) fails to contain the name and address by city or town of the lawyer whose services are described in the communication;
(12) contains a testimonial about or endorsement of the lawyer, unless the lawyer can factually substantiate the claims made in the testimonial or endorsement and unless such communication also contains an express disclaimer substantively similar to the following: “This testimonial or endorsement does not constitute a guaranty, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter”;
(13) contains a testimonial or endorsement about the lawyer for which the lawyer has directly or indirectly given or exchanged anything of value to or with the person making the testimonial or giving the endorsement, unless the communication conspicuously discloses that the lawyer has given or exchanged something of value to or with the person making the testimonial or giving the endorsement;
(14) contains a testimonial or endorsement which is not made by an actual client of the lawyer, unless that fact is conspicuously disclosed in the communication;
(15) contains any impersonation, dramatization, or simulation which is not predominantly informational and without conspicuously disclosing in the communication the fact that it is an impersonation, dramatization, or simulation;
(16) fails to contain disclaimers or disclosures required by this Rule 7.1 or the other Rules of Professional Conduct;
(17) contains any other material statement or claim that cannot be factually substantiated.
(d) Lawyers Responsible for Communication. Every lawyer associated in the practice of law with or employed by the lawyer which causes or makes a communication in violation of this rule may be subject to discipline for the failure of the communication to comply with the requirements of this rule.