New York State Bar Opinion 771

Committee on Professional Ethics 

Modifies: Opinion No. 614 (1990) and Opinion No. 539 (1982)

Topic: Website advertising, client testimonials and reports of past results

Digest of the Committee:

“A website advertisement that uses client testimonials or reports of past results is prohibited under DR 2-101(A) if the advertisement creates unjustified expectations, contains insufficient information, or is otherwise false, deceptive or misleading.  If the client testimonials or reports of past results are not false, deceptive or misleading, a lawyer need not post a disclaimer that past results do not guarantee similar outcomes in future cases.  If the advertisement is false or deceptive, a disclaimer cannot cure the false or deceptive nature of the advertisement.  If client testimonials or reports of past results are misleading, an appropriate disclaimer may be sufficient to correct the misleading nature of the advertisement if the disclaimer is prominently placed in the website such that a lawyer reasonably would expect that any prospective client who reads the advertisement will read the disclaimer.”

Code (opinion issued prior to adoption of current rules): DR 2-101, 2-101(A), (B), (F), 2-102, 2-102(D); EC 2-10


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