January 2018 NC State Bar Ethics Committee Actions

Proposed 2018 Formal Ethics Opinion 1
Participation in Website Directories and Rating Systems that Include Third Party Reviews
January 25, 2018: These opinions are published for comment.

 Proposed opinion explains when a lawyer may participate in an online rating system, and a lawyer’s professional responsibility for the content posted on a profile on a website directory.

Inquiry #1: May a lawyer “claim her profile” or set up a profile on a website directory or business listing service such as Google’s My Business, LinkedIn, or Avvo and provide information for inclusion in the profile?  Opinion #1: Yes, if the information provided by the lawyer and as presented in the profile is truthful and not misleading. Rule 7.1(a).

Inquiry #2: May a lawyer pay to be included in a website directory of lawyers?  Opinion #2: Yes. A lawyer may pay the reasonable costs of advertisements. Rule 7.2(b).

There are eight more Inquiries and Opinions on this topic. Please go to the NC State Bar web site at https://www.ncbar.gov/for-lawyers/ethics/proposed-opinions/ to read the rest and provide your comments to the Ethics Committee.

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