Every time I visit with a fellow attorney to discuss WebPresence, Esq. and how we can build his or her legal practice, I raise the issue of ethics. Most of the time, lawyers are keen to discuss this very relevant topic, as finding oneself on a state bar’s professional misconduct list is the last thing a licensed attorney wants.
As attorneys ourselves, the legal marketing professionals at WebPresence, Esq. understand the necessity in keeping in line with the Professional Rules of Conduct. If your license is in jeopardy because your legal marketer is producing content that is not considered educational and informational or your Social Media accounts are ‘communicating’ with prospective clients, your practice will suffer.
The State Bar of California’s Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC), which is charged with the task of issuing advisory opinions on the ethical propriety of hypothetical attorney conduct, recently had something to say about Social Networking:
“Proposed Formal Opinion Interim No. 10-0001 considers: Under what circumstances would an attorney’s postings on social media websites be subject to professional responsibility rules and standards governing attorney advertising?
The opinion interprets rules 1-400 of the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California; and Business and Professions Code sections 6106, 6151, 6152, and 6157 through 6159.2.
The opinion digest states: Material posted by an attorney on a social media website will be subject to professional responsibility rules and standards governing attorney advertising if that material constitutes a “communication” within the meaning of rule 1-400 (Advertising and Solicitation) of the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California; or (2) “advertising by electronic media” within the meaning of Article 9.5 (Legal Advertising) of the State Bar Act. The restrictions imposed by the professional responsibility rules and standards governing attorney advertising are not relaxed merely because such compliance might be more difficult or awkward in a social media setting.
At its March 23, 2012 meeting and in accordance with its Rules of Procedure, the State Bar Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct tentatively approved Proposed Formal Opinion Interim No. 10-0001 for a 90-day public comment distribution.”
California Attorneys: You have until July 2, 2012 to publicly comment on the proposed opinion. Click here to make your voice heard.
WebPresence, Esq. is a cutting-edge Web Presence Management company built by attorneys for attorneys. Our team of lawyers will create a powerful Social Media campaign for your law firm, enabling you to attract new business and increasing your firm’s reputation. Additionally, we will manage your online reputation, ensuring that your carefully-crafted name remains in good stead. For more information about our services, contact WebPresence, Esq. at www.WebPresenceEsq.com today.