Rule 7.2 contains the most fundamental principle governing lawyer advertising: a lawyer may not make a “false or misleading” statement about the lawyer’s services. A California lawyer is facing a lawsuit today for allegedly posting fake positive law firm reviews on Yelp.com. One false review noted that the law firm “seriously rocks,” and another, that it “puts the smack down on creditor harassment right away.”
Yelp alleges in its lawsuit that this:
exemplifies the behavior that Yelp combats daily through its algorithms and investigations—the planting of fake reviews intended to sway potential clients with false testimonials. The [firm]‘s efforts to mislead consumers are particularly brazen and disappointing given that they have targeted some of the most vulnerable consumers of all—individuals who may be facing bankruptcy and who are looking for potential legal representation.
I expect a disciplinary complaint is already pending.