Thursday, March 30, 2023
Misleading Solicitation Letters Draw Reprimand
Violations of advertising rules in two solicitations drew a reprimand from the New Jersey Supreme Court.
A letter of the Disciplinary Review Board described the issues
Specifically, respondent’s May 10, 2016 solicitation letter failed to comply with the safeguards of RPC 7.3(b)(5) and contained grossly misleading statements regarding the penal and criminal consequences the solicited client could face for a mere traffic offense. Additionally, respondent’s solicitation letter falsely listed his law firm address as a UPS store located in Bergen County.
Respondent’s September 2, 2019 solicitation letter failed to comply with almost the same requirements of RPC 7.3(b)(5). Additionally, respondent’s envelope contained the improper phrase “urgent court matter[,]” and his solicitation letter improperly informed the client that his firm could handle the representation without any “FEES UNLESS WE WIN YOUR CASE[,]” without disclosing any alternative fee arrangements. Finally, respondent’s solicitation letter improperly proclaimed his firm’s attorneys as “personal injury expert trial attorneys[,]” even though neither the Court nor an ABA approved organization had bestowed any such credentials upon any attorney at his law firm.
Misstatements included possible consequences of traffic offenses
respondent violated RPC 7.1(a) by making several false or misleading statements in his May 10, 2016 solicitation letter to an individual charged with failure to obey traffic signals, signs, or directions. Respondent informed the individual that a conviction for such an offense could impact his or her “freedom” and result in a “criminal record” “and or” “jail in some cases.” Respondent’s statements regarding the criminal consequences of such a conviction, however, were grossly misleading.
respondent’s solicitation letter falsely listed his law firm’s address as the location of a UPS store.