When is a blog lawyer advertising? Proposed California state bar opinion offers guidance
Legal ethics rules on advertising should apply to attorneys and law firms that publish blog posts as part of a professional website. Likewise, posts that explicitly or implicitly make clear that the author is available to represent clients also should be covered by legal ethics rules, a California State Bar group says.
In a draft opinion (PDF), the Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct calls for what the California Bar Journal describes as a bright-line test to determine which legal blogs fall within COPRAC’s purview. Another page on the California State Bar website summarizes the draft opinion.
Not everyone, however, is a fan of the approach taken by the proposed opinion. In a Socially Awkward blog post, Avvo general counsel Josh King says it is overbroad and infringes on attorneys’ First Amendment rights.
COPRAC is accepting comments on the proposed opinion until 5 p.m. on March 23. They should be sent to Angela Marlaud at the State Bar of California, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA, 94105, or emailed to email@example.com.
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