Lawyers and Lawsuits

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Can attorneys advertise in any way they want?

No, attorneys cannot engage in advertising that is false or misleading. A few states have rules that prohibit “self-laudatory” advertising and many states prohibit advertising that creates unjustified expectations on the part of potential clients. For example, if an attorney advertised, “I guarantee you will receive a six-figure settlement offer from the insurance company,” then that advertisement could land the attorney in trouble with the state disciplinary bar for improper advertising.

Lawyers also cannot engage in direct, face-to-face solicitation with people in order to obtain their business Ohralik v. Ohio (1978; see LegalSpeak, p. 123). This means that a lawyer cannot go into a hospital room to an injured person and try to become that person’s lawyer. Believe it or not, that happened in that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.


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