Tips for Attorneys: Website Disclaimers and "Let it Rain!"

For the past few days I have been adding content to my website.  In doing so, I found myself faced with an important question:

In Kentucky, do attorney websites have to state "This is an Advertisement"?  

Because I know my fellow lawyers are busy, I'll go ahead and answer the question: NO, attorney websites in the Commonwealth do not need to contain this disclaimer. 

For those who are interested I'll explain a little further, because, like myself, a few other attorneys I spoke with were under the impression that such a disclaimer was required. 

Previously, SCR 3.130-7.25 required attorney websites in Kentucky to state "THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT" at the top of every page and that the disclaimer be visible without scrolling. However, on January 1, 2016, this rule was deleted and the Supreme Court adopted and made effective SCR 3130(4.5).  In short, this new rule requires that certain advertisements (e.g., letters, phone calls, emails) used to solicit clients contain the words "Advertising Material."  The rule does not specifically mention websites, but a phone call to the Attorneys' Advertising Commission confirmed that websites are exempt from this requirement.

In that same phone call, I also confirmed the deletion of the old SCR 3.130-7.25, and specifically, that attorney websites need not contain "THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT."  Alas, I had a solid answer to my question.  To that end, I now use the announcement bar on my website to provide a link to my contact page instead of displaying an outdated and unneeded disclaimer. 

For further reading, visit the Kentucky Bar Association's page on attorney advertising, which includes a very helpful FAQs document.

"Let it Rain!"

Finally, I thought I would participate in Throwback Thursday (TBT for my Twitterless friends).  Today's throwback honors late, great Phillip Seymour Hoffman who passed away on this day in 2014.  A hugely talented actor, his filmography speaks for itself (Capote, Charlie Wilson's War, Doubt, to name a few).  However, to add a little humor to your day, I thought I would provide you with a scene from the comedy Along Came Polly wherein he played one of his more lighthearted and hilarious roles.  Enjoy!

Let it Rain!