Can attorneys solicit clients by text?

Have you ever heard of the term ambulance chasers? If you haven’t, it’s a phrase commonly referred to an attorney who solicits clients just after an accident. This practice of directly soliciting potential clients is prohibited by the Florida Bar and a violation of the Florida Rule of Ethics 4-7.4.  It is a violation to directly solicit a client via text message.

This Rule applies to all types of communication including e-mail, telephone or direct contact.

It does not, however, apply to attorneys who solicit professional employment from a prospective client with whom the lawyer has a family or prior professional relationship with.

This Rule also applies to people who work for attorneys or those who are directed to act on behalf of an attorney. This prohibition on solicitation includes contact at emergency rooms, hospitals, and clinics by persons offering a lawyer’s services.

Additionally, the Florida Rules of Ethics address the direct communication to prospective clients through advertising. An attorney cannot mail solicitation materials to a person involved in an accident until a period of 30 days has elapsed.  All advertisements from attorneys must be clearly designated as such.


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