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The Florida Bar still hasn't figured out how to fix chronic underfunding of legal service organizations that serve the poor, but they have finally addressed solicitations via text:
In-person solicitations by attorneys are forbidden because, as the American Bar Association says, "The situation is fraught with the possibility of undue influence, intimidation, and over-reaching."Yes, the "national dialogue" demands that we send texts to grieving relatives after a car accident.
In February, staff and a committee of the Florida Bar said the ban on in-person solicitations also bars text messages because the ban includes telephone communications.
But the Bar's board of governors in July reversed that ruling, concluding that texts are more like emails, which are allowed, than phone calls.
"It's an adaptation to reality," said Bar President Ramon Abadin. "Most people communicate by mobile data devices that happen to be phones, too."
The change, he added, is "part of the national dialogue. It's what we should be doing as professionals. We should be looking at how best to serve our clients. What are the ways they want to be communicated with and what are the ways they don't want to be communicated with? And what are the ways lawyers can best communicate with their clients?"
It's our duty as professionals!