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Board reviews ad appeals

first_img Board reviews ad appeals A lawyer referral service can call itself “Total Help” without violating Bar advertising rules, but a firm cannot advertise that a certain percentage of its fees will be given to charity.The Board of Governors at its Miami meeting upheld those positions taken by the Board Review Committee on Professional Ethics.Committee Chair Louis Kwall said the Standing Committee on Advertising had taken the position that the name “Total Help,” which had appeared in newspaper ads, created unjustified expectations.But he said the BRCPE disagreed, and the board upheld that position. Under Bar rules, lawyers may not belong to a referral service unless it follows all of the Bar’s rules.In the second case brought to the board, Kwall said if a law firm wanted to advertise it would give a certain percentage of its earned fees to charity. Both the Standing Committee on Advertising and the Professional Ethics Committee said that violated Rule 4-5.4, which prohibits sharing legal fees with nonlawyers.Ethics Counsel Elizabeth Tarbert said the PEC’s position was the ad would have been okay if the firm hadn’t chosen a fixed percentage.Board member Buck Vocelle said he dissented on the BRCPE, adding, “I don’t think a donation involves an impermissible fee split. I don’t think this rises to the level of conduct that this rule was designed to prevent.”The board, however, voted 22-18 to uphold the BRCPE recommendation. December 1, 2002 Regular Newscenter_img Board reviews ad appealslast_img

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