Rule 7.6. Computer-Accessed Communication

(a) Definition. For purposes of these Rules, “computer-accessed communications” are defined as information regarding a lawyer’s or law firm’s services that is read, viewed, or heard directly through the use of a computer. Computer-accessed communications include, but are not limited to, Internet presences such as home pages or World Wide Web sites, unsolicited electronic mail communications, and information concerning a lawyer’s or law firm’s services that appears on World Wide Web search engine screens and elsewhere.

(b) Internet Presence. All World Wide Web sites and home pages accessed via the Internet that are controlled, sponsored, or authorized by a lawyer or law firm and that contain information concerning the lawyer’s or law firm’s services:

(1) shall disclose all jurisdictions in which the lawyer or members of the law firm are licensed to practice law;

(2) shall disclose one or more bona fide office location(s) of the lawyer or law firm or, in the absence of a bona fide office, the city or town of the lawyer’s primary registration statement address, in accordance with subdivision (a)(2) of Rule 7.2; and

(3) are considered to be information provided upon request and, therefore, are otherwise governed by the requirements of Rule 7.9.

(c) Electronic Mail Communications. A lawyer shall not send, or knowingly permit to be sent, on the lawyer’s behalf or on behalf of the lawyer’s firm or partner, an associate, or any other lawyer affiliated with the lawyer or the lawyer’s firm, an unsolicited electronic mail communication directly or indirectly to a prospective client for the purpose of obtaining professional employment unless:

(1) the requirements of subdivisions (b)(1), (b)(2)(A), (b)(2)(B)(i), (b)(2)(C), (b)(2)(D), (b)(2)(E) and (b)(2)(F) of Rule 7.4 are met;

(2) the communication discloses one or more bona fide office location(s) of the lawyer or lawyers who will actually perform the services advertised or, in the absence of a bona fide office, the city or town of the lawyer’s primary registration statement address, in accordance with subdivision (a)(2) of Rule 7.2; and

(3) the subject line of the communication states “LEGAL ADVERTISEMENT”. This is not required for electronic mail communications sent only to other lawyers.

[(d) Advertisements. All computer-accessed communications concerning a lawyer’s or law firm’s services, other than those subject to subdivisions (b) and (c) of this Rule, are subject to the requirements of Rule 7.2 when a significant motive for the lawyer’s doing so is the lawyer’s pecuniary gain.][1]

Pursuant to order dated September 22, 2011, the Louisiana Supreme Court suspended enforcement of Rule 7.6(d).

Background

The Louisiana Supreme Court adopted this rule on June 26, 2008. It was amended June 4, 2009 and became effective October 1, 2009. In the wake of the Fifth Circuit’s 2011 declaration that some of Louisiana’s lawyer advertising rules were unconstitutional, the Louisiana Supreme Court amended this rule on Jun 22, 2011.

Notes

This page was updated on August 30, 2013.

 

 



[1] The Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board was enjoined from enforcing Rule 7.6(d) by a United States District Court judgment dated August 19, 2009. in Pub. Citizen, Inc. v. La. Attorney Disciplinary Bd., 642 F. Supp. 2d 539 (E.D. La. 2009). Thereafter, in an order dated September 22, 2009, the Louisiana Supreme Court suspended enforcement of Rule 7.6(d). See Louisiana Supreme Court Order of Sept. 22, 2009.

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