February 28, 2009
No To Florida Proposed Amendments On Web Page Advertising
The Florida Supreme Court has rejected the Bar's proposed amendments to the rules that regulate attorney/law firm web pages. The court noted that the issues had received "dedicated study and vital debate" from the Bar. The proposed amendments, among other things, would have exempted from general advertising regulations information found by clicking on a main page link. Such information would have been deemed to be "on request" of the prospective client. The court noted that the "history of regulating computer-accessed lawyer advertising is a study in contrasts." However, the court concluded that the "proposed amendments are not sufficient to make material behind the home page to be treated as on request" for regulatory purposes. The court indicates that a "two click'' approach to web pages, requiring a second user click, to treat the information as "on request."
There are two concurring and a concurring/dissenting opinion to the court's order. In light of concerns expressed in a concurring opinion about the use of testimonials, that issue also was referred to the Bar for further study. (Mike Frisch)
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