Thinking about deleting your law firm website? Think again….

By at 21 September, 2015, 1:40 pm

Most lawyers forget that their websites are viewed by disciplinary authorities as a form of client communications. Firms that update their website or delete it for whatever reason may run afoul of ethics rules if they do not maintain a copy of it. Anna Massoglia over at Lawyerist.com has a good post on this topic Deleting Your Website Can Come Back to Bite you in the Assets . Some folks believe that since the Internet Archive Wayback Machine grabs snapshots of websites that they do not need to be concerned about this, but Anna's article should disabuse you of this thought.  

According to Anna's article:

ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility Formal Opinion 10-457 expressly states that any website with background information about a law firm or lawyers constitutes a “communication about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services,” subject to the requirements of Model Rule 7.1. Model Rules 7.1, 7.2, and 7.3 provide further guidance on communications and advertising, but do not explicitly impose record-keeping requirements on either. The Model Rules serve as outer limits of regulations and restrictions on attorney advertising but leave specific restrictions to the regulation of state bar associations, whose opinions on the matter vastly differ.

Something else I found useful in her article is the state by state chart of whether maintaining a record of your website is required or recommended and how long you need to keep that record. So check out her article and make sure you're following the rules.

 

Categories : Ethics | Hmmm! | Internet | Marketing


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