New ABA Model Rules May Require Changes in Your Law Firm's Internet Marketing and Social Media Use, Says Veteran Internet Marketing Attorney Michael J. Evans

Share Article

In August the ABA adopted changes to the attorney advertising ethics rules that target Internet advertising and social media marketing. Veteran Internet marketing attorney Michael J. Evans says its a good time to review your online and social media marketing to ensure compliance with ethics rules.

Attorney Michael J. Evans

Attorney Michael J. Evans

This change in the ABA ethics rules is a good time for law firms to review all their Internet marketing and social media use to make sure they don't violate attorney ethics rules or open themselves up to other legal claims.

The ABA House of Delegates voted In August to amend the ABA's Model Rules of Professional Conduct to expressly include attorney Internet advertising ethics rules and add comments regarding attorney solicitation of clients online. ABA Resolution 105B (adopted August 2012) made several changes in the Model Rules. You can view the new attorney advertising ethics rules for online attorney advertising here.

"The new rules reflect the ABA's recognition that the Internet has become a major part of the practice of law," Evans said. Evans believes this is a good thing. "Law practice which takes advantage of the Internet simplifies the legal system for clients, often allowing individuals to obtain legal services from the convenience of their own homes."

"This change in the ABA ethics rules is a good time for law firms to review all their Internet marketing and social media use to make sure they don't violate attorney ethics rules or open themselves up to other legal claims," said experienced Internet marketing attorney Michael J. Evans. These changes are targeted directly at Internet marketing. Part of the resolution adopting the new rules says that its purpose is "to provide guidance regarding lawyers’ use of technology and client development. ..."

The new rules, and comments explaining the rules, answer some questions but raise others, Evans said. "For example, when is a lawyer guilty of solicitation when interacting with a potential client on Facebook? That's one of the questions I'm discussing in a series of articles I'm posting about the new ABA ethics rules on my attorney marketing blog. Part 1 was published yesterday, and there will be at least two more articles in the series. One article will discuss when a law firm can ethically pay a non-lawyer lead-generator. The new rules are very specific in addressing this issue head-on. The new rules make it clear that it's legal to pay non-lawyers for leads, but the new rules have requirements that have to be followed.

Evans said the new rules will complicate matters for online advertising attorneys, at least until they've had time to digest the changes. "Because of the twelve years experience I have with online marketing ethics, I sometimes provide other law firms with legal opinions on attorney advertising compliance issues. All of us who engage in Internet marketing on a daily basis need to spend some time studying the new rules," Evans said.

About Michael J. Evans

Michael J. Evans is an attorney who uses cutting-edge technology and innovative Internet marketing practices to help clients and lawyers connect nationwide.

Evans helped pioneer law firm Internet marketing twelve years ago when he began organizing alliances of law firms to offer legal services to clients nationwide. Evans and other allied law firms in 42 states have represented people nationwide in mass tort cases involving defective drug and medical device lawsuits, BP oil spill claims, and similar litigation.

Evans continues to organize national law firm alliances to help attorneys connect with clients nationwide, as well as locally.

For more information about legal marketing and social media for law firms, see Evans’ attorney marketing blog or his personal blog, Michael J. Evans: Law + Marketing + Technology. Evans is the owner of The Law Offices of Michael J. Evans, LLC in Birmingham, Alabama. He frequently works with law firms nationwide to represent injured people.

Attorney advertising disclaimer: The attorney responsible for the content of this advertisement is Michael J. Evans of the Law Offices of Michael J. Evans, 2120 7th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35233. No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Michael Evans

Law Offices of Michael J. Evans, LLC
Law Offices of Michael J. Evans, LLC
Email >
Follow us on
Visit website