We know that Matt Dolman, an attorney in Florida led the fight to stop fake attorney referral services. But whenever the black robed Taskmaster gets involved in the free market system, we often see unintended consequences that harm consumers and the legal industry. Put this one under the list of headlines you may not have expected. If you’re a loyal reader of this site, chances are you saw this one coming. Our members have been a lone voice in the wilderness, writing about the potential changes attorneys have to look forward to. In some cases, many law firms won’t be happy.
Florida Supreme Court May Change Legal Marketing Forever?
Reuters reported on the issue. The Florida Supreme Court will soon decide regarding the regulation of online legal marketing sites. One of the largest is the familiar site Avvo. However, there are potential coattails which could affect attorneys’ practices regarding LinkedIn and other sites. One of the key issues is the potential conflict of ethical issues.
The Supreme Court in 2015 restricted that state’s attorneys from accepting referrals from any service which was not owned by a member of the bar. The Court is following up with a recent case in which legal service sites like Avvo will be regulated. So it appears that sites like AVVO may be required to be owned by a lawyer at least in Florida? “Maybe,” says California lawyer, Michael Ehline.
But It Won’t Stop with Avvo
While Avvo is the largest and most well-known of these types of cases, both the company and prominent attorneys believe it will not stop there. Many services, including professional media sites and even advertising venues, face heavy affects. Even giants like Google AdWords and others see the threat in the decision.
The Florida Supreme Court already overstepped its bounds in its earlier case. The Court leans in that direction again. There is no excuse for poor jurisprudence from a state’s Supreme Court. Furthermore, attorneys nationwide see the precedent in waiting. Every firm fears the chilling effect such a decision makes.
Attorneys built the legal world as responsive to trends and clients as possible. Taking a step back helps no one. In fact, a poor precedent serves neither firms nor their clientele. This isn’t Avvo’s fight, it’s all of ours.
We’re keeping tabs on the events surrounding this case and others. Keep it dialed here for more information.
Posts by Michael Ehline
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- Google Lawyers Up Over Extensive Probe
- Fight Between EU and Google Just Warming Up
- Tech Lobbying Money a Troubling Trend
- Google Seeks Self Driving Car Safety Exemption
- The "Right to be Forgotten" and Legal Precedent
- Gmail a Potential Security Minefield
- Fight Between Google and EU Just Warming Up