A law firm domain name does not have to be identical to the firm's actual name but it otherwise must comply with the Rules of Professional Conduct including refraining from being false or misleading nor may it imply any special competence or unique affiliations unless factually true. A for-profit law firm domain name should not use the top level domain suffix ".org" nor should it use a domain name that implies that the law firm is affiliated with a particular non-profit organization or governmental entity. [ERs 7.1, 7.4, 7.5]
A law firm may not advertise that it “specializes” in a certain area of law where no member of the firm is a State Bar Board certified specialist. Further, if a member is board certified, firm advertising must identify that lawyer’s name and not state that the “firm” specializes in any particular area of law. [ER 7.1(a), 7.4]
A national lawyer association ethically may place its membership directory on its Internet web site, categorized by practice areas. The association may want to: 1) list State Bar admissions for each member, to avoid unauthorized practice of law concerns; and 2) clarify that the “practice area” designations do not necessarily mean that the lawyers are certified specialists in those fields. [ER 5.5(a), 7.1(d), 7.4]
Arizona lawyers ethically may not participate in an Internet service that sends legal questions from individuals to attorneys based upon the subject matter of the question. Lawyers also could not pay a fee for such referrals or give the service a portion of the legal fees earned from the referral. [ER 1.5, 5.4, 5.5, 7.1(j), 7.1(r)(3), 7.4]
This opinion discusses several ethical issues with respect to lawyers using the Internet to communicate including, for example, confidentiality concerns when sending email to a client, advertising considerations for websites and the applicability of Arizona's Rules of Professional Conduct to communications disseminated from or received in Arizona [ERs 1.6, 1.7, 5.5, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5]
Committee discusses guidelines for attorneys participating in seminars sponsored by the Speakers' Bureau of the State Bar.
Participation in "Bankruptcy Attorneys Trust", a nationwide cooperative television advertising service; misleading title of the service.
Attorney participating with nonlawyer financial planner in presenting seminars for general public on financial planning, estate planning, and probate problems.
Attorney showing area of specialty on his letterhead that is not recognized by Arizona Board of Legal Specialization.
Law firm's mere factual statement of new associate's background does not imply ability to achieve legal results.