Can attorneys solicit clients by text?

Learn about the legal boundaries that Florida attorneys must observe while seeking potential clients, as stated in the Florida Rule of Ethics

The term ‘ambulance chasers’ may ring a bell with you. It’s a common description for attorneys actively seeking clients just after an accident. The Florida Bar has stringent rules regarding this type of solicitation, as outlined in the Florida Rule of Ethics 4-7.4. This rule expressly forbids attorneys from directly soliciting potential clients via text message.

All forms of communication are subject to this rule, whether it’s email, telephone, or face-to-face contact. Nevertheless, there are exceptions for attorneys seeking professional employment from a prospective client with whom they share a family or prior professional relationship.

Not only lawyers fall under this rule. It extends to employees of law firms or anyone acting under an attorney’s guidance. The prohibition on solicitation includes approaching potential clients at emergency rooms, hospitals, and clinics offering a lawyer’s services.

Moreover, the Florida Rules of Ethics also regulate direct communication with prospective clients through advertising. There is a mandatory 30-day waiting period before an attorney can send solicitation materials to someone involved in an accident. Attorneys must clearly mark all such correspondence as advertisements.


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