Practicing law in multiple states can be tricky. The American Bar Association prohibits lawyers from practicing in jurisdictions where they are not licensed. Lawyers who overstep the bounds of their licenses—even unintentionally—often get slapped with sanctions for committing a multi-jurisdiction practice violation.
If you practice in multiple states, you are surely already aware of this issue and have taken steps to avoid professional discipline for an MJP violation. But have you made sure that your advertising adheres to the ethics rules in the states in which you practice?
Each state has its own ethics rules regarding advertising, and they can vary wildly. In Kentucky, for example, the words “This is an advertisement” must appear on every page of a firm’s website. In Ohio, this isn’t the case.
At GNGF, we work with a number of clients who are licensed to practice in several states. With these clients, we strongly recommend that their website and all other aspects of their online marketing follow the ethics guidelines of the stricter state. There’s no harm in being more cautious than necessary in a lax state—but woe to you if you fail to meet the guidelines of a strict state!
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