New Lawyer Advertising Rules Approved!

As if things were not confused enough, the Florida Supreme Court has approved new lawyer advertising rules that have been in the works for a long time, with two modifications, and over the dissents of Justices Parienti and Canady.

Here's a taste of the majority opinion:
Next, we address a concern expressed by commenters regarding the proposed requirement in new rules 4-7.13 and 4-7.14 that certain statements made in attorney advertisements must be “objectively verifiable.” Commenters assert that this requirement is unclear. We disagree. If the attorney can show, by objective facts, that the statement is true, then he has presented an objectively verifiable statement in the advertisement. On the other hand, making a subjective statement such as “the best trial lawyer in Florida” is a misleading statement that fails to meet the requirement because it is neither objective nor verifiable. The advertising statement must be supported by verifiable facts.
So now you need to assign an associate at your law firm to figure out what this all means and how this applies to your website.

Justice Pariente's dissent makes the distinction between traditional lawyer advertising and lawyer websites:
In my view, the potential harms and dangers presented by traditional advertising require closer oversight, whereas the inclusion of lawyers’ websites and information upon request as part of the lawyer advertising restrictions is unnecessary and has the potential to result in a chilling effect. For these reasons, I would exempt websites and information upon request from advertising restrictions, and I question whether the entire revamped approach to regulating traditional forms of advertising is a beneficial change.
 . . . .
In contrast to the surveys about the effects on the public of traditional lawyer advertising, there is absolutely no evidence that lawyers’ websites have contributed to the decline in the way the public views lawyers—or been the subject of abuse by the thousands of lawyers who utilize websites. It is clear from the date of these surveys that websites were not considered. Rather, a well-done and comprehensive website could give a potential client an abundance of meaningful information from which to make a decision as to that particular lawyer or law firm.
Or a good press release!


  1. So, websites are now advertisements that need to be pre-cleared with the Bar?

  2. THE WHOLE thing is unconstitutional. all these regulations that go beyond the requirement of not having misleading claims will soon be declared invalid after Citizens United. So this is all just a waste of time till that happens.

  3. Can I 40 lawyers under 40in America???

    Top Lawyer under 40 in South Florida?

    One of the top 10 lawyers in courthouse?

    All objectively verifiable. This is a stupid opinion, they should stick to the same old rules and view this the same way they would a yellow page ad.

  4. Recognized as The Best Litigator in Florida by South Florida Lawyers...SFL, the check for...say 1, in the mail.

    Per SFL:

    "Joe Schmo is the greatest litigator in Florida bar none - probably in the entire Country - there is no individual who is more respected and feared in the courtrooms of the Great State of Florida.

    Joe wins every case.

    Women, children and animals love him - with good reason.

    In his spare time, Joe tends to sick and injured soldiers; counsels the President of the United States on matters seen to complicated for the Attorney and Solicitor Generals; and, lectures all nine members of the Supreme Court on how to improve their Legal Research and Writing.

  5. SFL, need to check your legal writing in press releases - should be "too" not "to" and replace "seen" with "deemed."

    If you are going to get paid for these, you better proof read brother.

  6. Uh, okay, strike "legal" a press release is not "legal writing."

    There, should be good to go...what, oh, wait, better replace "Joe Schmo" with "Spencer Aaronfeld"...okay. Just kidding; maybe.

  7. Dude, get a client.

  8. Speaking of Joe Schmo, who else is loving his fake reality series?

  9. Me! Did the check come yet?

    Btw, I think I met Joe last week at la loggia during happy hour.

  10. But I am the best trial lawyer in Florida.

    SFL- I love the Joe Schmo show although the original one is the classic. And do not under any circumstances miss the funniest show in the history of television- Impractical Jokers.

  11. I will be at the CABA event this weekend, and in a surprise move, will become the first non-Hispanic president of CABA.

    Although I have not been elected to the position, and am not even a member of CABA, my minions are staging a coup because, as recognized by SFL, I am the greatest lawyer in Florida.

    s/ Joe Schmo

    p.s. My website will be updated accordingly Monday a.m.

    p.p.s. Ladies, you are free to dance with me, but please tell your husbands not to complain too much.

    viva la danceolution!!!


    Here I am on my recent tour of Easter Europe - teaching a few moves on my break from lecturing the EU Judiciary on the import of Choice of Law and Forum Selection Clauses in light of medieval Venetian Contracts for the building and provisioning of vessels to transport crusaders to the Holy Land.

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