Bar Rules for Attorney Advertising
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Colorado Bar Rules
Colorado

Colorado Bar Rules for Attorney Advertising

Attorney websites in Colorado are considered a form of advertising that are subject to the state bar association's regulations. The Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct provide specific provisions that address website advertising and marketing by law firms and attorneys.

Because so many attorneys and law firms are using the internet to advertise their business, it has become increasingly important to ensure the website in compliance with bar rules in the state. However, many basic website design and marketing firms fail to comply with these rules as they are often unfamiliar with the intricacies if the practice of law. Any failure to do abide by the legal website marketing and advertising rules in Colorado can result in disciplinary actions or sanctions against the attorney.

Internet LAVA is completely dedicated to attorney internet marketing and provides services to lawyers and law firms throughout Colorado and in every jurisdiction in the United States. Internet LAVA understands that a lawyer's website must comply with their state's bar rules, and makes every effort to ensure clients are constantly in fulfillment of all applicable Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct. Contact Internet LAVA at 1-800-292-LAVA for more information on how to ensure your marketing strategy conforms to the bar rules in Colorado.


Colorado Bar Rules Resources

Colorado Bar Association Website- This link is to the Colorado Bar Association's website, which provides information pertaining to the Colorado Bar Association and attorneys in Colorado, including the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, ethics opinions and an ethics hotline. The Colorado Bar Association is located at:

Colorado Bar Association
1900 Grant St, 9th Floor
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: (303) 860-1115

Colorado Supreme Court - This link provides information to commonly referenced attorney ethics rules in Colorado, as provided by the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. The Colorado Supreme Court is located at:

Colorado Supreme Court
1560 Broadway, Ste. 1800
Denver, Colorado 80202
Phone: (303) 886-6400

Ethics Opinions by the Colorado Bar Association Ethics Committee - This link is to the Formal Ethics Opinions, as provided by the Colorado Bar Association Ethics Committee, that provide ethics advice to attorneys in Colorado concerning topics of general interest.

Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct - This link is to the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, which provides the rules that regulate attorney website advertisement and marketing.


Colorado Bar Rules Information Center


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Colorado Bar Rules Guidelines

The Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct govern all advertising and marketing efforts by an attorney or law firm, including website or online marketing and advertising. These ethics rules state the general requirements all lawyers and law firms must follow when advertising, soliciting or marketing online.

In general, at least one lawyer's name must be included on the advertisement stating they are responsible for the content. This does not mean they must write the content, but they will be held responsible if the conduct does not comply with the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Additionally, Rule 7.2 of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct states the attorney's website must disclose the office address where the law firm or lawyer is located.


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False, Deceptive or Misleading Information on Colorado Legal Websites

The Colorado Rule of Professional Conduct Rule 7.1 prohibits attorneys and law firms in Colorado from using false or misleading communications about the attorney's services. Specifically, a lawyer cannot make a false or misleading communication about their legal services or about the lawyer.

The Rules of Professional Conduct state a communication may be false or misleading if:

  • The statement omits a fact that is necessary to make the statement not materially misleading;
  • The statement contains a material misrepresentation of law or fact;
  • The statement compares the lawyer's services to that of another, unless they can be supported by factual evidence; or
  • The statement will probably create an unjustifiable expectation about the lawyer's ability to obtain a particular result.

The comments to Rule 7.1 state that certain statements about the attorney's skills or abilities could be misleading if they cannot be factually substantiated. Additionally, the number of years of experience a law firm has can be potentially misleading, if the number combines the years of experience of all members of the law firm and does not differentiate in the years of experience each lawyer has.

Additionally, the comments to Rule 7.1 of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, state an attorney is not permitted to make misleading statements about the attorney's fees. The Colorado Bar Associations' comments state that the following words are likely to be misleading if they cannot be factually substantiated:

  • Cut-rate,
  • Lowest, and
  • Cheap.

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Past Case Results on Colorado Law Firm Websites

The Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct also discuss statements about past case results in the comments sections of communications concerning a lawyer's services. According to the comments, the results a lawyer has obtained in the past can be misleading, unless they are factually substantiated. Case results often imply to prospective clients the lawyer will be able to achieve the same result in the future.

Often, the past case results page on criminal defense attorney websites and personal injury websites is the first place prospective clients will look after finding the website. Potential clients are interested in finding verifiable facts concerning the types of cases that the attorney has taken in the past and the results they have obtained in those cases.

Therefore, disclaimers about past case results are essential, and should state the results do not in any way imply the same results will be able to be obtained in the future and there is no guarantee the results will be the same for any specific type of case or client.


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Fields of Practice on Colorado Websites

Under Rule 7.4 the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, an attorney or law firm is not permitted to claim or imply they are certified as a specialist or specializes in any particular practice area on their website, unless:

  • They have been certified as a specialist by a state authority-approved organization or an organization that has been accredited by the American Bar Association, and
  • The certifying organization is clearly identified on the website communication

Further, if an attorney claims they are certified in an area of law on their website, they must include the following disclosure on their site:
"Colorado does not certify lawyers as specialists in any field."

However, Rule 7.4 does permit Colorado law firms and attorneys to indicate they do or do not practice in certain areas of law.


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Internet LAVA, LLC | Colorado Bar Rules for Attorney Websites

For more information on how Colorado's ethics and professionalism rules can impact the website advertising or marketing strategy for your law firm, contact Internet LAVA at 1-800-292-LAVA. Internet LAVA's focus on the specific website advertising and marketing bar rules in each state helps attorneys maintain a professional image and stay in full compliance with the bar rules governing internet marketing in their jurisdiction.


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