Advertising Bar Regulations For Wyoming
The Rules for attorney advertising in the state of Wyoming can be found in the Wyoming Rules for Professional Conduct. The rules directly relating to advertising can be found at 7.1 through 7.4.
Rule 7.1 regulates all communications concerning a lawyer’s services. It prohibits a lawyer from making any false or misleading communications about their services. A communication could be considered misleading if it:
- contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement, considered as a whole, not materially misleading;
- 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
- compares the lawyer’s services with other specific lawyers’ services, unless the comparison can be factually substantiated
Truthful statements can also be considered misleading if they omits a fact necessary to make the lawyer’s communication considered as a whole not materially misleading, or if there is a substantial likelihood that it will lead a reasonable person to formulate a specific conclusion about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services for which there is no reasonable factual foundation.
Rule 7.2 allows attorneys to advertise their services through public media; however, a copy or recording of an advertisement or communication shall be kept for four years after its last dissemination along with a record of when and where it was used. This rule also prohibits a lawyer from giving anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer’s services. An attorney is, however, permitted to pay the reasonable costs of advertisements or communications permitted by Rule 7.2, or pay the usual charges of a legal service plan or a not-for-profit or qualified lawyer referral service.
According to Rule 7.4, an attorney may not claim to be certified as a specialist in any area of the law, unless:
- the lawyer is certified as a specialist by an organization that has been approved by the American Bar Association
- the name of the certifying organization is clearly identified in the communication
- the attorney has provided copies of the current certification along with a $150.00 annual certification fee to the Wyoming State Bar prior to advertising such certification
All attorney ads in the state of Wyoming should contain the following disclaimer:
“The Wyoming State Bar does not certify any lawyer as a specialist or expert. Anyone considering a lawyer should independently investigate the lawyer’s credentials and ability, and not rely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise.”
This disclaimer must be displayed on every advertisement and be of equal prominence to all other aspects of the advertisement.