first_img October 1, 2000 Regular News Bar offers tools to assist those who advertise Thinking of advertising your services but aren’t sure what you may or may not say in an ad? The Bar’s Ethics and Advertising Department offers several tools to help lawyers develop advertisements that comply with the Supreme Court’s advertising regulations. “There are many Bar members out there who are not aware that the Bar regulates attorney advertising and requires them to file their ads for review,” said Bar Ethics Counsel Elizabeth Tarbert. To help in that process, the Ethics and Advertising Department has developed a number of resources to help familiarize members with the rules — all of which are available on the Bar’s website. Tarbert said the best resource offered is the “Handbook on Lawyer Advertising and Solicitation,” an annual publication produced by the Standing Committee on Advertising. She said this handy reference gives general information on lawyer advertising, how to file advertisements with the Bar, current rules regarding advertising and sample ads for reference. Lawyers can download the advertising handbook in a PDF document. For attorneys who are short on time, the website also contains the Quick Reference Checklist, which attorneys can use as a tool to determine if their advertisements comply with the rules regulating attorney advertising. Also on the website are documents titled: Attorney Advertising Filing Requirements; How to File Attorney Advertisements; Exemptions From the Filing Requirement; Internet Guidelines for Attorneys; and Frequently Asked Questions on Advertising. (To find the advertising documents on the Bar’s homepage, click on “Law Practice Regulation” in the left-hand column. That will open up several subdirectories, which includes “Advertising Rules.” Click on “Advertising Rules” and then select the items to view or download.) The advertising rules also can be found in the 2000 Bar Journal directory issue on pages 714 through 720. Tarbert also said the Bar’s Ethics staff is available to talk with members who have any questions. “If they want to run specific language by us, they can feel free to call us. If we think, based on a prior opinion of the standing committee, that particular language or a picture does not comply with the rules, we will try to suggest ways to make the ad comply. “We don’t just say `no,’” Tarbert said. “We try to help lawyers figure out ways to bring their ads into compliance.” Tarbert also said there are many things regulated by the advertising rules that lawyers really don’t consider advertising. “When I speak to groups, I ask how many advertise and not very many hands go up,” Tarbert said. “Then I ask how many people put their business card in their kid’s soccer program,and a few more hands go up. When I ask how many have ever spoken at a seminar and sent out an invitation, more hands go up. Finally I ask how many have listings in the Yellow Pages and almost everyone’s hand is up. These are all considered forms of advertising.” Tarbert said lawyers have a professional responsibility to familiarize themselves with the advertising regulations “because there are probably things that they don’t consider advertising that we do.” For more information, call (800) 235-8619 or (850) 561-5780 or write Standing Committee on Advertising, The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee 32399. Bar offers tools to assist those who advertiselast_img