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Text Messaging OK for Attorney Advertising, Says Florida Bar

The Florida Bar Board of Governors recently approved text messaging as a means of attorney advertising. Ruling that texts are not a form of “in person solicitation,” which is prohibited, the Bar board now opens up a new avenue for attorneys who seek to reach consumers using additional forms of communication.

“We found that in fact that text messaging is … a form of written communications … the same as any other written communications and must comply with [Bar] Rule 4-7.8(b),” said a spokesperson for the Board Review Committee on Professional Ethics. “We permit emailing we permit [paper] mailing and other types of advertising, and our committee found after listening to the applicant . . . that they have a new method going forward that is permissible.”

Texts must comply with all Bar rules for attorney advertising, including the “Advertisement” disclaimer and other introductory language required for direct mail.

Given the nature of text messaging, which is short and immediate (IMHO) and prone to “CU soon” types of shorthand, one wonders if the recipient will actually wade through all the upfront language to arrive at the real message encouraging them to hire an attorney.

Law firms must retain copies of text messaging, and give some thought to covering any data costs that might be incurred under the recipients mobile phone data plan.

Click on the link to read the full story, “Bar board finds texting is not prohibited solicitation.”

About the Author: Law Firm Marketing Consultant Margaret Grisdela

Margaret Grisdela is president of Legal Expert Connections, Inc., a national legal marketing agency, and author of the book Courting Your Clients. She specializes in insurance defense marketing, employment law marketing, and serving as an outsourced legal marketing director. She welcomes all law firm inquiries. Connect via LinkedIn or at 1-866-417-7025.

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