Bar Rules

RULE 7.2 ADVERTISING

Ethics & Discipline / Current Rules / Part IV (After January 1 / 2001) - Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct (also includes Disciplinary Proceedings and Advisory Opinion rules) / CHAPTER 1 GEORGIA RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT AND ENFORCEMENT THEREOF

  1. Subject to the requirements of Rules 7.1 and 7.3, a lawyer may advertise services through:
    1. public media, such as a telephone directory, legal directory, newspaper or other periodical;
    2. outdoor advertising;
    3. radio or television;
    4. written, electronic or recorded communication.
  2. A copy or recording of an advertisement or communication shall be kept for two years after its last dissemination along with a record of when and where it was used.
  3. Prominent disclosures.  Any advertisement for legal services directed to potential clients in Georgia, or intended to solicit employment for delivery of any legal services in Georgia, must include prominent disclosures, clearly legible and capable of being read by the average person, if written, and clearly intelligible by an average person, if spoken aloud, of the following:
    1. Disclosure of identity and physical location of attorney. Any advertisement shall include the name, physical location and telephone number of each lawyer or law firm who paid for the advertisement and who takes full personal responsibility for the advertisement.  In disclosing the physical location, the responsible lawyer shall state the full address of the location of the principal bona fide office of each lawyer who is prominently identified pursuant to this paragraph.  For the purposes of this Rule, a bona fide office is defined as a physical location maintained by the lawyer or law firm from which the lawyer or law firm furnishes legal services on a regular and continuing basis. In the absence of a bona fide physical office, the lawyer shall prominently disclose the full address listed with the State Bar of Georgia or other Bar to which the lawyer is admitted.  A lawyer who uses a referral service shall ensure that the service discloses the location of the lawyer's bona fide office, or the registered bar address, when a referral is made.
    2. Disclosure of referral practice.  If the lawyer or law firm will refer the majority of callers to other attorneys, that fact must be disclosed and the lawyer or law firm must comply with the provisions of Rule 7.3(c) regarding referral services.
    3. Disclosure of spokespersons and portrayals. Any advertisement that includes a non-attorney spokesperson, portrayal of a lawyer by a non-lawyer, portrayal of a client by a non-client, or any paid testimonial or endorsement, shall include prominent disclosure of the use of a non-attorney spokesperson, portrayal of a lawyer by a non-lawyer, or of a client by a non-client.
    4. Disclosures regarding fees. A lawyer or law firm advertising any fixed fee for specified legal services shall, at the time of fee publication, have available to the public a written statement clearly describing the scope of each advertised service, which statement shall be available to the client at the time of retainer for any such service.
    5. Appearance of legal notices or pleadings. Any advertisement that includes any representation that resembles a legal pleading, notice, contract or other legal document shall include prominent disclosure that the document is an advertisement rather than a legal document.

    The maximum penalty for a violation of this Rule is a public reprimand.

    Comment

    [1] To assist the public in obtaining legal services, lawyers should be allowed to make known their services not only through reputation but also through organized information campaigns in the form of advertising. Advertising involves an active quest for clients, contrary to the tradition that a lawyer should not seek clientele. However, the public's need to know about legal services can be fulfilled in part through advertising. This need is particularly acute in the case of persons of moderate means who have not made extensive use of legal services. The interest in expanding public information about legal services ought to prevail over considerations of tradition. Nevertheless, advertising by lawyers entails the risk of practices that are misleading or overreaching.

    [2] This Rule permits public dissemination of information concerning a lawyer's name or firm name, address and telephone number; the kinds of services the lawyer will undertake; the basis on which the lawyer's fees are determined, including prices for specific services and payment and credit arrangements; a lawyer's foreign language ability; names of references and, with their consent, names of clients regularly represented; and other information that might invite the attention of those seeking legal assistance.

    [3] Questions of effectiveness and taste in advertising are matters of speculation and subjective judgment. Some jurisdictions have had extensive prohibitions against television advertising, against advertising going beyond specified facts about a lawyer, or against "undignified" advertising. Television is now one of the most powerful media for getting information to the public, particularly persons of low and moderate income; prohibiting television advertising, therefore, would impede the flow of information about legal services to many sectors of the public. Limiting the information that may be advertised has a similar effect and assumes that the bar can accurately forecast the kind of information that the public would regard as relevant.

    [4] Neither this Rule nor Rule 7.3: Direct Contact with Prospective Clients prohibits communications authorized by law, such as notice to members of a class in class action litigation.

    Record of Advertising

    [5] Paragraph (b) requires that a record of the content and use of advertising be kept in order to facilitate enforcement of this Rule.

     

 



GO TO RULE 7.1 COMMUNICATIONS CONCERNING A LAWYER'S SERVICES
GO TO RULE 7.3 DIRECT CONTACT WITH PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS
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