Luckily, the lawyer advertising rules in California aren’t too different from other states in the United States. If you know one of the states we’ve gone over before, learning the rules in California should become a bit easier. But, like with all states, there are subtle differences in California’s wording and terms that may make things that aren’t different seem so, and things that aren’t similar sound the same.
Marketing and advertising for a business can be a full-time job in itself. If you have a law firm to run, you need someone else you can trust to run the marketing side of things. The marketing and advertising experts at ENX2 Marketing can handle that for you while following all the lawyer advertising rules in California.
What is Considered Lawyer Advertising in California
In California, as per Rule 1-400 Advertising and Solicitation, marketing is referred to as communications and solicitations. These are two separate types of marketing in California.
What Are Marketing Communications?
Rule 1-400 says communications are “any message or offer made by or on behalf of a member concerning the availability for professional employment of a member or a law firm directed to any former, present, or prospective client.” In simpler terms, this includes all kinds of direct and indirect professional communication with someone outside of conversations concerning their active case. Examples include:
- Business cards
- Other written materials
What Are Marketing Solicitations?
Also as per Rule 1-400, solicitations are any communication “concerning the availability for professional employment of a member or a law firm in which a significant motive is pecuniary gain.” It also includes any communication “delivered in person or by telephone, or directed by any means to a person known to the sender to be represented by counsel in a matter which is a subject of the communication.”
The difference between marketing solicitations and marketing communications is that one involves verbal communication while the other uses written or performed communication.
What Lawyer Advertising Can’t You Do in California?
The difference between marketing solicitations and communications becomes more apparent when it comes to what solicitations can’t do. Solicitations can’t go to prospective clients who none of the attorneys personally know or have been in communication with. This is similar to many rules regarding telemarketing and SMS marketing rules. This is so people won’t get spam.
Other marketing restrictions apply to both communications and solicitations, rules like:
- You cannot distribute false information.
- You cannot distribute misleading information.
- There must be a disclaimer when using testimonials that you are not and cannot promise the same results from a previous case for another client.
- You cannot omit necessary facts.
- You must indicate that the marketing material you are sending is a solicitation or communication.
For communications, you must retain a copy for at least two years since its first public release in case the State Bar requests a copy of it.
Need Help Following the Lawyer Advertising Rules in California?
Don’t forget, California has more rules than the ones we’ve gone over. If abiding by these rules will get in the way of your business process, you don’t have to do everything alone. Instead, talk to an experienced legal marketing firm that knows and understands all of the lawyer advertising rules in California.
Luckily, ENX2 Marketing is that legal marketing firm. We have experience handling marketing for firms across the country. If you need a team to handle your legal marketing, contact us today.