PLEASE NOTE: Publication for public comment is not, and shall not be, construed as a recommendation or approval by the Board of Trustees of the materials published.
Proposed Formal Opinion Interim No. 12-0006 (Attorney Blogging)
The State Bar Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC) is charged with the task of issuing advisory opinions on the ethical propriety of hypothetical attorney conduct. In accordance with Tab 19, Article 2, Section 6(g) (as modified by Tab 12, Title 1, Division 2, Rule 1.10) of the State Bar Board Book, the Committee shall publish proposed formal opinions for public comment.
Proposed Formal Opinion Interim No. 12 0006 considers: Under what circumstances is “blogging” by an attorney subject to the requirements and restrictions of the Rules of Professional Conduct and related provisions of the State Bar Act regulating attorney advertising?
The opinion interprets rule 1-400 of the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California; and Business and Professions Code sections 6157 – 6158.3.
The opinion digest states:
1. Blogging by an attorney is subject to the requirements and restrictions of the Rules of Professional Conduct and the State Bar Act relating to lawyer advertising if the blog expresses the attorney’s availability for professional employment directly through words of invitation or offer to provide legal services, or implicitly through its description of the type and character of legal services offered by the attorney, detailed descriptions of case results, or both.
2. A blog that is a part of an attorney’s or law firm’s professional website will be subject to the rules regulating attorney advertising to the same extent as the website of which it is a part.
3. A stand-alone blog by an attorney that does not relate to the practice of law or otherwise express the attorney’s availability for professional employment will not become subject to the rules regulating attorney advertising simply because the blog contains a link to the attorney or law firm’s professional website.
At its Dec. 5, 2014 meeting and in accordance with its Rules of Procedure, the State Bar Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct tentatively approved Proposed Formal Opinion Interim No. 12 0006 for a 90 day public comment distribution.
Proposed Formal Opinion Interim No. 12-0006
State Bar Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct
5 p.m., March 23, 2015
The State Bar of California
180 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94105-1639
Fax : 415-538-2171