Earlier this month, Kentucky revised and adopted a number of rules that will greatly impact the legal profession in the state.
One of the more significant changes occurred within the realm of lawyer advertising.
The new rules, effective January 1, 2016, will redefine the term itself, formulate an Attorney Advertising Commission, and change the manner in which Kentucky lawyers communicate their services to prospective clients.
Kentucky Supreme Court Rule (SCR) 3.130: Rule 7.01 will now define the term “advertise” as the means to furnish any information or communication containing a lawyer’s name or other identifying information.
The rule also redefines “advertisement” as any information containing a lawyer’s name or other identifying information, except when this information is located on a professional card of a lawyer and/or on a sign on or near the law office and in the building directory. This definition also gives an exemption when the lawyer’s name or law firm name is featured within a PSA that identifies the lawyer/law firm by name, his/her address, and telephone number.
Rule 7.02 creates and lays out the expectations of a new Attorney Advertising Commission that will regulate lawyer advertising in the state. The commission will consist of nine appointed US citizens licensed to practice law in the Courts of the Commonwealth. Commission members will serve three-year terms for no more than two years in succession.
Lastly, Rule 7.20 lays out the means by which lawyers can advertise. According to the rule, attorneys may now promote their services through written, recorded, and electronic communications so long as they are pursuant to the following guidelines:
- The lawyer’s name and/or image featured in the advertisement must be the actual lawyer performing the service advertised unless disclosed that the service will be provided by other lawyers at the law firm.
- The lawyer(s) pictured in the advertisement must be licensed to practice in Kentucky unless disclosed otherwise.
These new provisions will regulate the now myriad ways lawyers can promote their services, but many still believe there is a long way to go. What do you think?