Certain publications on the Internet or similar services are public media advertisements and are subject to the provisions of Part 7 of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.
[excerpted from advertising policies/rules]
17. The Internet and Similar Services Including Home Pages
A. Home Page First Screen.
Certain publications on the Internet or similar services are public media advertisements and are subject to the provisions of Part 7 of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct. Unless the home page would otherwise be exempt from the filing requirements under Rule 7.07(d), a lawyer or firm publishing a home page on the Internet must file a hard copy, including the URL address of: (1) the first screen which is sent to the computer an accessing person when the home page location (URL) is accessed; and (2) any material changes in format that vary from the first screen of the original home page. Pre-approval for the first screen of the home page is available.
B. Information Linked to the First Screen of the Home Page.
Generally, additional information that the lawyer or law firm publishes on the Internet or other similar services beyond the first screen of the home page should not be submitted for pre-approval or filed with the Advertising Review Committee.
However, additional information beyond the first screen that is primarily concerned with solicitation of prospective clients by a lawyer or law firm is considered public media advertisement that must comply with Part 7 of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct including the filing requirements of Rule 7.07. The following examples are generally not considered to be primarily concerned with solicitation of prospective clients: newsletters; news articles; legal articles; editorial opinions; illustrations; questionnairs; fact or opinion survey forms; announcement of office openings and relocations; request for proposals or or information from the public; legal product specifications; E-mail and E-mail response forms; attorney bio- graphical information; announcement or personnel changes; attorney and support staff recruiting; job openings; legal development and events, including verdicts judgments, court rulings, administrative rulings, and/or legislation; announcement of seminars and events, including on- line registration forms therefor; links to other Internet sites (legal or otherwise); and entertainment/amusement devices.
C. Compliance with Part 7 of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct Including Rule 7.04(a-c) and (h-o).
Information that may not be considered primarily concerned with solicitation of prospective clients must still comply with the applicable provisions of Part 7 of the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, including Rule 7.04(a-c) and (h-o). Attorney biographical information must contain appropriate statements and/or disclaimers as required by 7.04(a-c).
References to a submitting lawyer's or law firm's accomplishments or record, including verdicts, judgments, court rulings, and administrative rulings, must be accompanied by an appropriate disclaimer as well as the information set forth in Interpretive Comment 3 regarding unjustified expectations. The home page first screen must also disclose the geographic location by city or town of the lawyer's or firm's principal office.
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