August 29, 2012
Considering a question of first impression, a Virginia three-judge court imposed an agreed disposition of public reprimand without terms in a case that involved "the burgeoning use of the internet for advertising and marketing and to create 'virtual' law offices."
At issue were communications, representation agreements, letterhead and business cards that suggested that the attorney's firm was a law firm of multiple attorneys. The State Bar contended that the attorney worked with independent contractors who were not part of his firm.
The State Bar and the attorney agreed that the issue will be resolved by making the other attorneys firm employees.
The State Bar also had contended that the website and other communications were misleading in several respects, particularly with respect to areas of specialization. The attorney agreed to amend the firm web site to meet the concerns.
The court found a Rule 7.4 (communication of Fields of practice and certification) violation. (Mike Frisch)
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