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Ethics Update On Lawyer Ads Move ABA Rules Toward Clarity

Ethics Update On Lawyer Ads Move ABA Rules Toward Clarity

Changes that the American Bar Association adopted earlier this week to its model rules regarding attorney advertising and business solicitation mark a significant step toward clarifying what has been a confusing area of legal ethics, said several lawyers who focus on professional liability issues.

But the new rules also stop short of addressing murky questions about attorney referrals that have arisen in the age of social media platforms like LinkedIn and lawyer review websites, such as Avvo Inc., those lawyers added. And the practical impact of the updates will likely depend on whether, and how quickly, state bar associations follow the ABA’s guidance.

The ABA House of Delegates—a body of 601 members comprised of state, local and other bar associations and legal groups—voted Monday to adopt proposed changes to its model rules of professional responsibility that supporters believe will streamline a complex set of regulations surrounding lawyer advertisements.