Section .0700 - Information About Legal Services

Link to law: http://reports.oah.state.nc.us/ncac/title 27 - state bar/chapter 02 - rules of professional conduct of the north carolina state bar/27 ncac 02 rule 7.1.html
Published: 2015

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SECTION .0700 - INFORMATION ABOUT LEGAL SERVICES

 

27 NCAC Rule 7.1           Communications Concerning a Lawyer's

Services

(a)  A lawyer shall not make a false or misleading

communication about the lawyer or the lawyer's services. A communication is

false or misleading if it:

(1)           contains a material misrepresentation of

fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole

not materially misleading;

(2)           is likely to create an unjustified

expectation about results the lawyer can achieve, or states or implies that the

lawyer can achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional

Conduct or other law; or

(3)           compares the lawyer's services with other

lawyers' services, unless the comparison can be factually substantiated.

(b)  A communication by a lawyer that contains a

dramatization depicting a fictional situation is misleading unless it complies

with paragraph (a) above and contains a conspicuous written or oral statement,

at the beginning and the end of the communication, explaining that the

communication contains a dramatization and does not depict actual events or

real persons.

 

Comment

 

[1]  This Rule governs all communications about a lawyer's

services, including advertising permitted by Rule 7.2. Whatever means are used

to make known a lawyer's services, statements about them must be truthful.

[2]  Truthful statements that are misleading are also

prohibited by this Rule. A truthful statement is misleading if it omits a fact

necessary to make the lawyer's communication considered as a whole not

materially misleading. A truthful statement is also misleading if there is a

substantial likelihood that it will lead a reasonable person to formulate a

specific conclusion about the lawyer or the lawyer's services for which there

is no reasonable factual foundation.

[3]  An advertisement that truthfully reports a lawyer's

achievements on behalf of clients or former clients may be misleading if

presented so as to lead a reasonable person to form an unjustified expectation

that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters

without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances of each

client's case. Similarly, an unsubstantiated comparison of the lawyer's

services or fees with the services or fees of other lawyers may be misleading

if presented with such specificity as would lead a reasonable person to

conclude that the comparison can be substantiated. The inclusion of an

appropriate disclaimer or qualifying language may preclude a finding that a

statement is likely to create unjustified expectations or otherwise mislead the

public.

[4]  See also Rule 8.4(e) for the prohibition against

stating or implying an ability to influence improperly a government agency or

official or to achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional

Conduct or other law.

 

History Note:        Authority G.S. 84-23;

Adopted July 24, 1997;

Amended Eff. October 2, 2014; March 1, 2003.