Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Florida Bar rejects an opinion of its Advertising committee and rules that texting is an acceptable form of advertising

Back in May I reported that the Florida Bar Committee on Advertising had found that a law firm’s proposed texting campaign was impermissible solicitation analogous to inappropriate phone calling or telemarketing to attract clients.

Just a few days ago, however, it was reported that the Bar Board of Governors rejected the opinion and held that, because text messaging is more like targeted mail than in person solicitation, the law firm can send texts to prospective clients as long as the messages comply with the Bar rules on written and email communications.

The report states that the law firm will keep a record of the texts’ content and who received them, and will work with cell phone service providers to ensure that the firm pays for the text if that is something the recipient would pay for under the recipient’s mobile phone plan, but it is not clear whether these practices are now required for any lawyer seeking to use texting as a form of solicitation.

With this decision, Florida joins Ohio in holding that attorneys have the right to use texting to solicit clients, subject to limited regulation by the state.

UPDATE Sept 3, 2015:  The ABA has more here.

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