Email campaigns can be a great marketing strategy when used appropriately. However, when it comes to Law Firm advertising, more care must be taken. The Florida Bar has set rules and laws that must be followed for all types of advertising, including email. Let’s go over the email marketing compliance regulations.
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Here is a basic, abridged, breakdown of considerations to remain in compliance with email advertisements. The comprehensive information can be reviewed in Rules Regulating the Florida Bar, Subchapter 4-7. You can also view the Florida Bar’s quick reference checklist. One important note is that all information must be legible, reasonably prominent, and in the same language, as well as accurate and not misleading.
You must include either the name of the law firm or the name of one or more attorneys — unless a qualifying provider is issuing the ad, in which case the name of that lead generator, directory, ad program, matching service, or lawyer referral service must be included.
The email ad must legibly and with reasonable prominence contain the county, or city, of at least one bona fide office location.
Actual Employee Disclosure
If you use the image or voice of anyone who is not on the staff of the firm, you must include the disclaimer “Not an employee or member of ‘law firm’,” with reasonable prominence and legibility.
A Law Firm must disclose if another attorney will take over the case.
Area of Law
The email ad will be noncompliant if the attorney does not currently practice in a practice area the ad promotes.
Claims of Expertise
A person should be able to objectively verify anything stated in the email ad about the law firm or attorney’s record, reputation, background, or skills. See below regarding the use of the concepts of expertise or specialty.
Record of Results
You must not include any mention of results that
- could reasonably mislead recipients, even if they are literally accurate;
- omits material facts; or
- cannot be objectively verified.
Mentions of Public Officials
Do not include before mentions of any public officials, including judges.
The law firm or attorney cannot write testimonials to be presented by clients. Also, no one should receive reimbursement in any manner for providing them. They must contain a reasonably prominent and legible disclaimer that clients may get different or dissimilar results. Moreover, they must convey the real experience of the individual, as well as represent the general experience of the clientele of the firm or attorney.
When describing your firm’s services or its lawyers, be careful about the words specialize, specialist, expert, and expertise. This point is particularly important because an inappropriate implication, or statement that an attorney is a specialist in an area, goes against Florida Rule of Professional Conduct 4-7.14. It is one of the most common rule violations.
Rather than saying that a lawyer “specializes in” a certain legal area, it is preferable to say the attorney “focuses on” that area. Unless they hold the appropriate certifications of course. Additionally, Lawyers who receive certifications in specialty areas from national organizations accredited by the American Bar Association, or by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization & Education, can use “specialize,” be a “specialist,” or be an “expert” in that area.
Additional Marketing Compliance Resources
For more information on law firm marketing compliance, download the Handbook on Lawyer Advertising and Solicitation. Updated on July 7, 2022, it is an annual publication by the Standing Committee on Advertising. You also visit the Florida Bar website which has links to checklists, the handbook, and more. Use these to quickly reference general information on lawyer advertising including:
- How to file your ads with the Florida Bar
- Up-to-date rules regarding your advertising
- Sample ads
Your Marketing Partner
Do you want to sharpen the marketing efforts at your law firm? At Cyberlicious®, we utilize state-of-the-art technology and machine learning to expand the intelligence of your law firm’s marketing strategies and efforts. This is why it is imperative we stay up to date with the rules and regulations of the Florida Bar. To ensure that your advertising is morally and ethically conducted.
The email marketing compliance regulations can seem overwhelming, so let us worry for you. Come learn just how sweet it is to build trust and confidence with an email marketing campaign.
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