Nathan M. Crystal, Lawyers may text to potential clients but with so many limitations that it might not be worth its while

The Ohio Disciplinary Board has advised that lawyers may use text messaging to contact potential clients.  In addition, the Board decided that text messaging generally did not amount to “real-time electronic contact” in violation of Rule 7.2 dealing with solicitation, distinguishing text messaging from contact in chat rooms.  Ohio Opinion #2013-2.   However, the committee also advised that text messages must comply with all of the requirements governing advertising, including identification of the name and address of the responsible lawyer, statement that the message constitutes “Advertising Material,” and provision of other disclosures required by the Ohio Rules.  The committee also discussed a number of other restrictions that would apply to the use of text messages.  The limitations in the opinion are so burdensome that most lawyers will probably find text messaging to be an impractical and risky means of trying to acquire clients.   (This is an excerpt from Nathan Crystal, Technology and Ethics (“Technethics”): 2013 in Review, South Carolina Lawyer 14 (March 2014)