What Are the Legal Consequences for Advertising the "Best" Lawyers If They Do Not Deliver?
Provided by HG.org
Advertising as the best in any category is difficult to live up to when the lawyer has multiple clients and is working long hours. It is best to avoid using these phrases, or he or she could face litigation when the services do not live up to the advertisements.
To keep within ethical standards, lawyer should adhere to the guidelines provided by the American Bar Association. This means refraining from negative business practices, providing the best possible services to all clients and avoiding lawsuits and criminal charges. The legal consequences of advertising with certain words that cannot be lived up to may include litigation with the client or competitors. In preventing these matters, the lawyer should edit marketed advertisements, information in the yellow pages and online details. This may keep the benefits and avoid the negative consequences that may result. The data given in these documents, files and sites may be accurate for some time, but when the lawyer cannot deliver, these items may be held against him or her.
Some advertising practices that lawyers engage in may be detrimental to his or her firm. This could lead to adverse effects on the public through perceptions or knowledge about the legal representative and his or her peers. If an advertising campaign is too aggressive, this may cause clients to shy away. These items may also be marketed to cause certain persons to believe that the lawyer is able to work miracles no matter how much evidence is available to show that the client is guilty. It is crucial to ensure the wording of items that are in the public light may be kept and do not cause negative consequences to the legal professional or his or her legal firm.
The American Bar Association has given guidelines that are reasonable goals to aspire to when advertising services for a lawyer. These should be dignified and accomplished without grandiose claims. This means that the legal representative is in communication with advertisers about his or her services and details. Claims of being the best are subjective and may not be possible to live up to for the professional whether he or she has few or many clients. This means contacting the agency or website to ensure that certain words are avoided and others are used to ensure the advertisement has dignity and is based on legitimacy.
The goals of the lawyer should be scrupulous, sensitive to the constitutional rights provided to both lawyers the clients within the public and free of potential criticism. This usually means refraining from claims of being the best, having services better than competitors and similar wording. The responsibility of the advertising agency should mirror that of the lawyer in keeping these billboards and commercials filled with details about services, what type of claims may be made and similar concerns. Most of these ads are geared towards clients and their troubles rather than claims of the lawyer being better than similar competitors.
The Consequences of Advertising Support
The consequences of not delivering the best service depends on if the lawyer is behind the ads. If the service or agency created the posters, sites or marketing campaign, the company may be at risk for a lawsuit due to unrealized success. This means that clients that were not given the best possible outcome may seek to litigate against a website owner, directory manager or similar professional advertising the better ability to assist clients by the lawyer. However, it is his or her reputation at stake, and he or she may also be dragged into the lawsuit. At the very least, someone may attempt to obtain a remedy of a cease and desist order from the company providing the details.
Another possible outcome may be a report to the American Bar Association by a former or aggrieved client. Because the legal professional is usually in collusion with the advertising agency, he or she may be involved in the wording, phrasing or misrepresentation of how he or she is the best based on the other lawyers in the region, state or county. If there is any misconduct included in these matters, the legal professional may face a license suspension or revocation.
Defending against Consequences
The advertising company and support may need to seek legal assistance if litigation is the outcome of undelivered best results. It is important to ensure there is an efficient resolution to these matters.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.