Lawyers are an interesting bunch. We live in the world of providing information to clients, obtaining information to use in our cases, yet when we "hear things," we simply freak out.
Such as that the Florida Bar has changed the rules regarding websites.
So what do we do when we hear this? Well, I do something unique - a Google search.
I may type in something like "Florida Bar website rules," and come up with this.
Why are you calling me, emailing me, asking me "what does this all mean?"
Do you not have Google? Has your subscription lapsed?
Here's the new rules (I found them here):
Websites will be subject to the general advertising regulations set forth in Rule 4-7.2. Websites will remain exempt from the filing requirement under Rule 4-7.8. The jurisdictional disclosure requirement will no longer be required on the homepage, but will be required to appear on the website. Requirements for direct e-mail will be reinstated: a statement of qualifications will be required and a disclosure if a lawyer other than the one whose name appears in the advertisement will handle the matter will be required. Direct e-mail also will be required to begin the subject line with the statement "legal advertisement." The changes will be effective January 1, 2010.
Here's the secret to keeping you out of trouble:
While you don't have to file the website as an advertisement for review, go ahead and do it anyway. Pay the $150. The Bar will give you a nice opinion on what's wrong with the site.
And it's cheaper than a lawyer.
Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. Please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com