Bar says lawyers in different areas may share 800 numbers

Bar says lawyers in different areas may share 800 numbers

first_imgIt is permissible for lawyers and law firms in different geographic areas to share the same 800 phone number, the Bar Board of Governors has decided.The board, at its December meeting, also said a law firm TV ad can show clips of the firm’s mock courtroom including a shot of a firm secretary sitting in the witness box.Board member Larry Ringers, chair of the Board Review Committee on Professional Ethics which reviews advertising appeals, said the 800 number issue stemmed from a Missouri company that owns the 1-800-JUSTICE phone number. The firm sells the number to lawyers and law firms in different geographic areas.Even though only one lawyer or firm has the right to use the number in a given area, the Standing Committee on Advertising felt having several firms use the same number could erroneously imply to the public the lawyers were in the same firm or part of a franchise.The BRC voted 4-0 to reverse that finding, and the board agreed on a voice vote.On the second case, Bar staff and the advertising committee cited an earlier board decision that using the mock courtroom in a TV ad could be false, misleading, or manipulative. The appealing attorney argued that Bar advertising rules had changed since the board made that decision in an earlier case, and Ringers said the BRC voted 5-0 to reverse the staff and standing committee decision.The board agreed with a voice vote.On another matter, the board said a law firm did not have to file for Bar review a banner ad in an electronic business newsletter that included the phrase “Ambition is Good” because that is the motto of the newsletter.Not brought to the board were several other appeals where the BRC upheld the Bar staff and the Standing Committee on Advertising, including finding that using the language “legal firepower when you need it most” characterizes a law firm’s legal service, in violation of Bar rules. Another denied appeal showed model cars crashing into each other, which violates Bar rules against false, misleading, or manipulative images. Bar says lawyers in different areas may share 800 numbers Bar says lawyers in different areas may share 800 numberscenter_img January 15, 2007 Regular Newslast_img

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