Friday, December 29, 2017

ABA to discuss proposed amendments to the rules on advertising and solicitation -- UPDATED

The Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL) (of which I am a member) has for some time now suggested multiple changes to the ABA Model Rules' approach to advertising and solicitation and the ABA has been working on the idea.

As a result of these efforts, a working draft of the proposed amendments to the ABA Model Rules was approved by the Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility.  Also available is a Memorandum explaining the proposed changes.

The ABA Ethics Committee is hosting a public forum to collect ideas and comments on the Working Draft on Friday, February 2, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. at the MidYear Meeting of the APRL in Vancouver.
(Please send a message to Natalia Vera at if you plan to attend.)

All written comments on the Working Draft should be filed by March 1, 2018. Comments may be emailed to All comments will be posted on the ABA website. 

The Ethics Committee will review all comments prior to submitting to the House of Delegates a resolution and report amending the Model Rules of Professional Conduct on lawyer advertising for the August 2018 meeting.

According to an ABA press release, draft proposes changes to the following Model Rules:  Rule 1.0: Terminology; Rule 7.1: Communication Concerning a Lawyer’s Services; Rule 7.2: Advertising; Rule 7.3: Direct Contact with Prospective Clients; Rule 7.4: Communication of Fields of Practice & Specialization; and, Rule 7.5: Firm Names & Letterhead.

For more on the story go to the ABA Journal online (here) and Faughnan on Ethics (here).

UPDATE (1/10/18):  Josh King, from Avvo recently posted his views on the ABA proposed changes here and here.  I disagree with his proposal to completely eliminate Rule 7.2, particularly the section that regulates when a lawyer can pay someone else to recommend the lawyer. 

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