Although the Florida bar is strict about rules applying to advertising and promotion for lawyers and law firms, there are some exceptions to the rules. Some of the times when the Florida bar rules don't apply are:
If you are licensed to practice law in multiple states, Florida's advertising rules do not apply to you if you market your services in another state or jurisdiction. However, keep in mind you must comply with the laws of that area, but as long as the ad is not sent to Florida residents, then you are safe.
You can promote your law services using postcards as long as the campaign is not a targeted direct mail advertisement. However, you must place the postcard in an envelope, or it must be converted to a self-mailing, fold-over style brochure. All information about the matter must be concealed when sending it through the mail. You must also mark the postcard with the word "advertisement" in a bright, easy-to-read color.
Targeted advertisement is when a lawyer or law firm sends out mailers to someone the lawyer knows is experiencing a difficult situation (such as a criminal law matter, house foreclosure, or personal injury) and promotes their services in that area. Targeted advertising is strictly regulated by the Florida bar.
The good news is that you can use non-targeted direct mail advertisements without including language such as "If you have already retained a lawyer for this matter, please disregard this letter," which you would have to if it were a targeted ad. Non-targeted advertisements fall outside of the Florida bar’s rules.
Regardless of whether you use email marketing or regular mail, you can share ads with other lawyers without doing anything special. Communications among lawyers, including promotional ads, are not subject to Florida bar rules.
Newsletters are another great tool to keep in touch with your clients and apprise them of new information about your services. Usually, newsletters are strictly regulated. However, if you send your newsletters only to other lawyers, existing clients, former clients, or anyone who has signed up to receive your newsletter, these rules do not apply.
You also have the legal right to promote events or seminars where you may be appearing as long as you have no financial responsibility or benefit. You must also not have any control over the advertisements. An example would be if you are appearing as a guest speaker at an event sponsored by another entity. That situation would not fall under Florida bar rules regarding promotion.
Another situation where you can send out mailers that don't apply to Florida rules about advertising is if you are looking for witnesses related to a crime or legal case. If you want to learn about more situations where Florida rules don't apply to legal marketing, contact INGAGE today.