On the Map Marketing knows it is vital for your law firm to have an effective website that also maintains an ethical approach and complies with the Arkansas Rules of Professional Conduct.
While lawyer advertising rules, under Rule 7.4, permit attorneys to specify which areas of law they practice, they are prohibited from stating they are a “specialist,” or “certified” in any particular field of law, except in cases where:
- The attorney has been certified as a specialist by an organization that has been accredited by the American Bar Association or by an organization approved by an appropriate state authority; and
- The certifying organization’s name is clearly stated in the advertisement or communication.
Rule 7.1 of the Arkansas Rules of Professional Conduct governs all communications regarding a law firm and their services, including their website, internet marketing and advertisements. According to Rule 7.1, all lawyers and law firms are prohibited from making false or misleading communications about their services or their attorneys. A communication may be false or misleading if:
- The communication contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law;
- The communication omits a fact that is necessary to make a statement not materially misleading when taken as a whole;
- The communication probably will create an unjustified expectation as to the results the lawyer can achieve;
- The communication state or implies the lawyer can achieve certain results in violation of the bar rules;
- The communication compares the lawyer’s services with that of another, unless they are able to be verified by facts; or
- The communication contains a testimonial or endorsement.
Rule 7.1 explains that past case results, including records of favorable verdicts, should not be used in communications about the lawyer’s services due to the likelihood of such records creating unjustified expectations for potential clients. Advertisements containing past client’s testimonial endorsement or should not be used on attorney or law firm websites.
Rule 7.2 states that an advertisement is required to include at least one attorney’s name who is responsible for the content, and also the geographical location of the principal office of the attorney or law firm where services are actually performed.
An attorney must keep a record of any advertisement or communication for five years after it was last published, along with a record of where and when it was used.