Representing Lawyers Accused of Misleading Advertising And Solicitation
Were you accused of misleading advertising or solicitation in Los Angeles, California? If so, you could be facing disciplinary action that affects your law practice and damages your reputation in the legal community.
The Rodriguez Law Group is here to help you navigate the rules and procedures of the State Bar of California’s disciplinary system. Our Los Angeles professional misconduct defense lawyer knows how to help attorneys who are dealing with unethical conduct allegations, and we’re here to advocate for you.
If you’ve received correspondence from the State Bar indicating ethical concerns, contact our law office to schedule a free consultation.
How The Rodriguez Law Group Can Help If You’ve Been Accused of Misleading Advertising or Solicitation in Los Angeles, CA
While all California attorneys should be familiar with the Rules of Professional Conduct, it’s easy to make an innocent mistake. Perhaps you didn’t realize that your statements would be considered misleading – or maybe they weren’t deceptive at all. Some ethics rules can be ambiguous, leading to confusion.
Unfortunately, any type of professional misconduct can be detrimental to an attorney. And even though you advocate for people every day, the attorney disciplinary process has its own set of procedures that are different from the civil or criminal justice system.
You’ll want to seek representation from someone familiar with the State Bar’s discipline system to protect your rights and:
- Evaluate the evidence supporting the alleged misleading advertisement or solicitation and formulate a timely response on your behalf
- Help you navigate the complex lawyer disciplinary process
- Resolve the matter as quickly as possible and mitigate the consequences you’ll face
- Represent you throughout the proceedings, including an Early Neutral Evaluation Conference and/or any other hearings
We offer a free and confidential case evaluation to discuss your situation. Contact The Rodriguez Law Group as soon as possible so that we can reach a favorable resolution and you can move on with your life.
Overview of the California Rules of Professional Conduct Regarding Attorney Advertising and Solicitation
Rule 7.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct states that attorneys must not make false or misleading communications (including advertising and solicitation of clients) regarding themselves or their legal services.
Misleading or false communications may include:
- Material misrepresentations of law or fact
- Omissions of a fact necessary to make the communication not materially misleading
Examples of misleading communications include but are not limited to:
- Express guarantees or warranties regarding the outcome of an attorney’s legal representation in a case
- Unfounded statements that create a substantial likelihood of leading a reasonable person to reach a particular conclusion regarding the lawyer or their legal services
- Past case results or testimonials that would lead a reasonable person to have an unjustified expectation of the same results
- Specific comparisons with other attorney’s services that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the comparison is substantiated
- Statements that advertise a specific fee or fee range if the lawyer intends to charge more
- Certain solicitations that don’t conspicuously indicate that they’re advertisements or solicitations
- Statements suggesting that an attorney is a “specialist” unless the attorney is certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization
Some of these examples are based on a “reasonable person” standard, so there’s likely room for argument in many cases.
How To Avoid Misleading Communications
A few tips to avoid disseminating misleading advertisements or solicitations include:
- Set out truthful and transparent information in all communications, including your law firm’s website
- Provide disclaimers, qualifying statements, or disclosures to prevent unreasonable expectations
- Don’t guarantee a specific outcome, such as advertising that you’ll win their case no matter what
- Avoid words like “best” or “expert” (except you can call yourself a specialist if you’ve been board certified and the designation is current)
- If you’re sending a solicitation, explicitly indicate that it’s an advertisement or solicitation to avoid confusion
It’s always wise to include disclaimers in your communications. For example, add a disclaimer on your law firm’s website stating that the information doesn’t constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship.
What Are the Potential Consequences of Misleading Advertising and Solicitation in California?
The consequences will depend on several factors, such as the level of misconduct and your professional history. For example, if it’s a minor breach and it’s your first time being investigated by the California State Bar, you could receive a warning letter with no further action.
Other potential disciplinary actions include:
- Public or private reproval
- Disbarment in some cases, such as if you have a pattern of attorney misconduct
- Other disciplinary actions, such as Ethics School
We’ll work to minimize the punishment you face for the advertising or solicitation practices at issue. We’ll also help you prepare a response and gather documentation to reach a fair outcome in your disciplinary case, such as a warning letter or an admonition.
Contact an Experienced Los Angeles Professional Misconduct Lawyer If You’ve Been Accused of Misleading Advertising or Solicitation
If you’ve been accused of disseminating misleading advertisements, solicitations, or other communications, contact The Rodriguez Law Group. We’ll guide you through the California State Bar disciplinary process and advocate for you every step of the way.
Our Los Angeles professional misconduct attorney offers a free assessment, so call today to schedule an appointment.
Last Updated on December 5, 2022