Chapter 4 – Marketing of Legal Services – annotated

4.2  Marketing
Application of rule

4.2-3  This section applies to any marketing activity undertaken or authorized by a lawyer in which he or she is identified as a lawyer, mediator or arbitrator.

Definitions

4.2-4  In this Chapter:

“marketing activity” includes any publication or communication in the nature of an advertisement, promotional activity or material, letterhead, business card, listing in a directory, a public appearance or any other means by which professional legal services are promoted or clients are solicited;

“lawyer” includes a member of the Law Society, and a person enrolled in the Law Society Admission Program.

Content and format of marketing activities

4.2-5  Any marketing activity undertaken or authorized by a lawyer must not be:

(a)     false,

(b)     inaccurate,

(c)     unverifiable,

(d)     reasonably capable of misleading the recipient or intended recipient, or

(e)     contrary to the best interests of the public.

 

Commentary

[1]  For example, a marketing activity violates this rule  if it:

(a)     is calculated or likely to take advantage of the vulnerability, either physical or emotional, of the recipient,

(b)     is likely to create in the mind of the recipient or intended recipient an unjustified expectation about the results that the lawyer can achieve, or

(c)     otherwise brings the administration of justice into disrepute.


Annotations


4.2-6
  [rescinded 10/2014]

Notary public

4.2-7  A lawyer who, on any letterhead, business card or sign, or in any other marketing activity:

(a)     uses the term “Notary,” “Notary Public” or any similar designation, or

(b)     in any other way represents to the public that the lawyer is a notary public,

must also indicate in the same publication or marketing activity the lawyer’s status as a lawyer.

Designation

4.2-8  A lawyer must not list a person not entitled to practise law in British Columbia on any letterhead or in any other marketing activity without making it clear in the marketing activity that the person is not entitled to practise law in British Columbia.

In particular, a person who fits one or more of the following descriptions must not be listed without an appropriate indication of the person’s status:

(a)     a retired member,

(b)     a non-practising member,

(c)     a deceased member,

(d)     an articled student,

(e)     a legal assistant or paralegal,

(f)      a patent agent, if registered as such under the Patent Act,

(g)     a trademark agent, if registered as such under the Trade-marks Act, or

(h)     a practitioner of foreign law, if that person holds a valid permit issued under Law Society Rule 2-18., or

(i)      a qualified member of another profession, trade or occupation, provided that the lawyer and the other person are members of a Multi-Disciplinary Practice (MDP) permitted under the Law Society Rules.

Annotations


4.3  Advertising nature of practice
Preferred areas of practice

4.3-0.1  A lawyer may state in any marketing activity a preference for practice in any one or more fields of law if the lawyer regularly practises in each field of law in respect of which the lawyer wishes to state a preference.

Annotations

Specialization

4.3-1  Unless otherwise authorized by the Legal Profession Act, the Law Society Rules, or this Code or by the Benchers, a lawyer must:

(a)     not use the title “specialist” or any similar designation suggesting a recognized special status or accreditation in any other marketing activity, and

(b)     take all reasonable steps to discourage use, in relation to the lawyer by another person, of the title “specialist” or any similar designation suggesting a recognized special status or accreditation in any marketing activity.

Annotations

Real estate sales

4.3-2  When engaged in marketing of real property for sale or lease, a lawyer must include in any marketing activity:

(a)     the name of the lawyer or the lawyer’s firm, and

(b)     if a telephone number is used, only the telephone number of the lawyer or the lawyer’s firm.

Multi-disciplinary practice

4.3-3  Unless permitted to practise law in an MDP under the Law Society Rules, a lawyer must not, in any marketing activity

(a)     use the term Multi-Disciplinary Practice or MDP, or

(b)     state or imply that the lawyer’s practice or law firm is an MDP.

4.3-4  A lawyer practising law in an MDP must ensure that all marketing activity for the firm indicates that the firm is an MDP.