New York State Bar Opinion 1049

Committee on Professional Ethics

Topic: Solicitation

Digest of the Committee:

“Where a potential client posts a message on a website asking to be contacted by a lawyer about a particular legal problem, a New York lawyer may respond in the manner invited by the potential client.  A response invited by the potential client does not constitute “solicitation,” but a communication about the services of the lawyer or law firm for the purposes of securing retention would constitute “advertising.”  B.  An attorney may post on a website to solicit plaintiffs for a case, unless the post relates to a specific incident involving potential claims for personal injury or wrongful death and is disseminated before the end of the cooling off period in Rule 7.3(e).  The communication is subject to the Rules on attorney advertising. If the post referred to a specific incident, it also would constitute a solicitation and Rule 7.3, including the filing requirements of Rule 7.3(c), would apply as well.”

Rules: 1.0(a) & (c), 7.1, 7.1(f), (h) & (k), 7.3(a), (b), (c) & (e)

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