Revised N.J. Ethics Rule Allows Lawyers to Tout Super Lawyers Designation
Posted Nov 6, 2009 7:49 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The New Jersey Supreme Court has changed the ethics rules to allow lawyers to tout their designation as among the "Super Lawyers" and "Best Lawyers in America."
The rule change, enacted Wednesday, carries some restrictions, the New Jersey Law Journal reports.
Any ad that mentions such a designation must include the name of the ratings service. And it should include a disclaimer reading: "No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court."
A comment to the ethics rule has more information on when the ads could be misleading, according to the story. The comment says lawyers shouldn’t mention their selection by a rating service unless the company inquired into the lawyer’s fitness and the honor wasn’t purchased. The ad should describe the methodology used by the rating service, or should at least include a reference to a source that has the description.
A 2006 ethics opinion had banned New Jersey lawyers from advertising their Super Lawyers designation. In December the state supreme court ruled such a ban could be unconstitutional absent proof that such ads are misleading.