SCR 3.130 KENTUCKY RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

INFORMATION ABOUT LEGAL SERVICES

Current with amendments received through 6/30/99

SCR 3.130(7.20) ADVERTISING

(1) A lawyer may advertise legal services through communications in compliance with these Rules.

(2) A lawyer shall not give anything of value to a non-lawyer for recommending the lawyer's services, except that a lawyer may pay the reasonable cost of advertising or communication permitted by this Rule.

(3) Any communication made pursuant to this Rule shall include the name of at least one lawyer licensed in Kentucky, or law firm any of whose members are licensed in Kentucky, responsible for its contents.

(4) Communication by a lawyer with a person or entity with whom that lawyer has a family or prior professional relationship or in response to an inquiry from any person or entity seeking information, shall be exempt from the provisions of these Rules, with the exception of Rule 7.10.

(5) If a law firm advertises a particular legal service on television or on radio and a lawyer in the firm appears on screen or on air to present the advertising message, the lawyer appearing on screen must be the lawyer who will actually perform the service advertised unless the advertisement discloses that the service may be performed by others in the firm.

Adopted by Order 92-1, eff. 8-1-92

COMMENTARY

Supreme Court

1989:

[1] To assist the public in obtaining legal services, lawyers should be allowed to make known their services not only through reputation but also through organized information campaigns in the form of advertising. Advertising involves an active quest for clients, contrary to the tradition that a lawyer should not seek clientele. However, the public's need to know about legal services can be fulfilled in part through advertising. This need is particularly acute in the case of persons of moderate means who have not made extensive use of legal services. The interest in expanding public information about legal services ought to prevail over considerations of tradition. Nevertheless, advertising by lawyers entails the risk of practices that are misleading or overreaching.

[2] This Rule permits public dissemination of information consistent with S.C.R. 3.135.

[3] Neither this Rule nor Rule 7.3 prohibits communications authorized by law, such as notice to members of a class in class action litigation.

Paying Others to Recommend a Lawyer

[4] A lawyer is allowed to pay for advertising permitted by this Rule, but otherwise is not permitted to pay another person for channeling professional work. This restriction does not prevent an organization or person other than the lawyer from advertising or recommending the lawyer's services. Thus, a legal aid agency or prepaid legal services plan may pay to advertise legal services provided under its auspices. Likewise, a lawyer may participate in not-for-profit lawyer referral programs and pay the usual fees charged by such programs. Paragraph (b) does not prohibit paying regular compensation to an assistant, such as a secretary, to prepare communications permitted by this Rule. (Commentary from former SCR 3.130(7.2).)

Ethics Opinions At This Website Citing This Rule

KBA E-367, KBA E-376, KBA E-388, KBA E-391, and KBA E403