Legal Marketing: Florida Bar's Proposed Online Ad Rules Bar Free Speech

That rumble you hear in Florida is not a typical summer thunderstorm, but a storm of protest from Florida attorneys regarding the Florida Bar’s proposed new online ad rules.

If you’re not aware: the new rules would ban online testimonials, summaries of case results and what the Bar terms “deceptive, misleading, manipulative or confusing” audio or visual content. In addition, consumers visiting a Florida attorney’s website would have to click through a series of disclaimers to even get to the site.

Many Florida attorneys think that these latest rules proposed by the Florida Bar are a violation of their First Amendment right to free speech. Florida-based First Amendment attorneys are organizing a loose coalition of some of the state’s largest firms, who received a recent extension from the Florida Supreme Court in which to submit commentary on the proposed ad rules.

First, let me say that I have an axe to grind and I recognize I'm not entirely neutral in this area because it directly impacts my business, which is teaching attorneys effective ways to market their law firms and in many cases actually providing outsourced marketing services to small law firms. These services often include lead generation and conversion from referrals and Internet marketing efforts.

Now that we have my biases out of the way, here's my take on these proposed Florida law firm marketing rules:

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Law Firm Marketing Experts, The Rainmaker Institute | Attorney Advertising

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