Tax Problem Resolution Attorney Advertising Restrictions
If you’re a lawyer, you likely know that there are significant Bar Association marketing rules to protect the public from unscrupulous counsel. Here in Florida, there is a plethora of rules one must abide by in order to stay within the regulations and keep one’s ability to practice law. Keep in mind that I am not an attorney- I’m an Enrolled Agent- and this should not be considered legal advice. Make sure to perform additional research before relying on the following information.
Each state has its own rules to abide by, but let’s discuss Florida since it’s where I conduct much of my business. The Florida Bar Association has posted resources for attorneys to use as a guide.
Here’s the main info page on The Florida Bar Advertising Rules.
And here’s some examples of acceptable marketing pieces, including letters.
Most importantly, here is the Handbook on Lawyer Advertising and Soliciting.
Even though I’m an EA and not bound by the restrictions (CPAs and EAs are exempt from Bar standards, of course) I went through some of the restrictions that apply specifically to letters Florida lawyers may send out. Here is just a portion of the restrictions:
- – Advertisements must be submitted to the Bar Association, and cost $150 to review.
- – The word “Advertisement” must be included on both the bottom left of the envelope and the first page of the letter. It must be in red ink.
- – It must be sent by regular US Mail.
- – It cannot appear to be an official legal document.
- – There must be a statement of qualifications of the law firm or lawyer.
- – If a contract for representation is included, it must be marked “Sample” and “Do Not Sign” in red and in a font one size larger than any other font in the sample contract. The words “Do Not Sign” must be located where the signature of the prospective client would be located.
- – If a lawyer other than the lawyer designated on the advertisement will handle the case, it must be stated to the client.
- – The first sentence of the letter must read, “If you have already retained a lawyer for this matter, please disregard this letter.”
- – The letter must disclose how the information about the perspective client must be disclosed. Because IRS federal tax liens are public records, this fact may be stated.
- – The nature of the legal issue cannot be disclosed on the outside of the mail piece. This means that attorneys can’t use postcards in marketing, since the information wouldn’t be concealed.
Yes, that’s a whole lot of information to include and exclude on a marketing piece if you’re a Florida attorney. It’s not even everything you must know! However, this perception of complexity keeps a large number of your competitors from advertising. Writing a compliant letter and using marketing best practices is the best way to get ahead in this business, and to effect people’s lives for the better through your hard work representing their interests.
Contact us today to get started with your new advertisement project. We’ll be happy to walk you through how using tax lien marketing can be the number one source of new clients to your tax problem resolution practice.