What the Lawyer Can Do for You in Case of Personal Injury

Personal injury refers to any injury caused to you by the act of commission or omission of any other person and also includes psychological damages. Even a slip or a fall comes under the purview of this category. You stand to receive compensation if you were to fall in front of any shop due to an obstacle and you can sue the shop owner for not having noticed the obstacle at the entrance of his shop. In fact, all accidents in which a person receives bodily injuries come under the broad category of personal injuries. In all such mishaps where you have to undergo treatment at a hospital and foot the medical bills, you can theoretically sue any other person or organization if you think the injury was a result of negligence of some other person.

You must have seen all that advertisements on TV and internet regarding the benefits of hiring the services of an attorney in cases of personal injury. Well, you always thought that these lawyers are always interested in charging exorbitant fees and that it is better not to take help from them. Nothing can be farther from truth. Though it is true that attorneys make a living out of helping victims like you, it is equally true that they are the ones knowing everything about the law and also about how to get the maximum compensation for you. In any case, you are going to pay the lawyer out of the settlement amount you receive from the insurance companies of the defendant. So why not make use of their expert advice.

Personal injury lawyers know all about the laws pertaining to personal injury and they know the clauses which ensure you get a decent amount of compensation. There are many types of claims which you may not even be aware of, and lawyers play with the loopholes of the law in a legal manner to make it look that your injury was totally a result of other person’s negligence, even though you may have contributed to the accident in a major way. You may think that you are entitled to only up to the amount you have got yourself insured for, but there are clauses which entitle you to a bigger compensation and thi9s is where the knowledge of insurance laws comes handy.

In any case, different states have different laws pertaining to personal injury and the compensations a victim is entitled to, and it is not possible for a common man to interpret all of them. Hiring the services of an attorney is always beneficial as he is using these laws day in and day out. You cannot estimate the value of different bodily injuries as well as a lawyer. In fact, he can add up all the injuries and also include many other things such as mental loss and the loss of income because of absence from work to increase the value of compensation for you. You may not know it, but you also stand to receive compensation for not being able to provide sexual pleasure to your wife.

Online Law Firm Marketing: Are Attorneys Complying With ABA Ethical Rules?

Law is a profession ripe with tradition. This profession is one of the few self-regulating professions and is governed by a myriad of professional rules, ethical opinions, and applicable common law. It is well-known that, historically, the law itself has slothfully adjusted to incorporate technological advances within its parameters. This is true regarding the ethical rules of professional conduct. Yet, as more and more legal professionals are now turning to the internet to market their practice through legal websites, blogs, and other social media outlets, there will become an increased need for further regulation regarding ethical advertising on the internet.

The American Bar Association (“ABA”) has draft model ethical rules for states to adopt and lawyers to follow. Today, these rules are called the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (the “Rules”) and were adopted by the ABA’s House of Delegates in 1983. These Rules were modified from the Model Code of Professional Responsibility. Additionally, the precursor to both was actually the 1908 Canons or Professional Ethics.

As noted, the Rules are not actually binding on an attorney until their state has either adopted them or some other related professional rules. Presently, all states except for California have adopted the ABA’s Rules at least in part. Most of the states have adopted the ABA’s Rules in full with slight modifications or additions to them. Other states, like New York, have adopted the ABA’s Rules but included somewhat substantial modifications.

The Rules and each state’s compilations do include provisions related to advertising and solicitation. Depending on the state, the distinction between each of these terms could be minimal or significant. Generally, “advertising” refers to any public or private communication made by or on behalf of a lawyer or law firm about the services available for the primary purpose of which is for retention of the lawyer or law firm’s services. In contrast, “solicitation” is a form of advertising, but more specifically is initiated by or for the lawyer or law firm and is directed to or targeted at a specific group of persons, family or friends, or legal representatives for the primary purpose of which is also for retention of the lawyer or law firm’s services.

Even though the Rules do address advertising and solicitation to the internet, they are unsurprisingly lacking. These gaps are somewhat filled by ethical opinions or case law. But this generally means that an attorney has already gone through the litigation process and, unfortunately, likely been subjected to discipline.

However, the Rules do provide a fairly strong foundation for an attorney or law firm read over. Even if your state’s professional rules do not adequately present internet marketing provisions, you may still consult the ABA’s Rules for guidance.

Within the Rules, the primary place to look is Rule 7. This rule pertains to “Information About Legal Services” and houses the majority of the applicable rules to internet marketing for attorneys. Duly note, that there still will be other provisions scattered throughout the Rules which apply to marketing. This is just the most applicable concentration of provisions an attorney should consult first before looking for those ancillary sections elsewhere.

Rule 7.1 is the first and more overarching provision an attorney should be concerned with. This section is entitled “Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services” and prohibits a lawyer from making “false or misleading communication about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services. A “false or misleading” communication is further defined in the rule and Comments as one that “contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading.” Most pertinently, Comment 1 expressly states that Rule 7.1 does apply to a lawyer or law firm’s website, blog, or other advertising because it states that this provision “governs all communications about a lawyer’s services, including advertising permitted by Rule 7.2.”

Under Rule 7.2, which is entitled broadly as “Advertising,” allows attorneys to advertise “through written, recorded, or electronic communication.” Comment 3 confirms that “electronic media, such as the Internet, can be an important source of information about legal services.” Thus, this only solidifies the fact that 7.2 and, therefore 7.1, apply to internet legal marketing.

In addition, Comment 2 for Rule 7.2 provides further information regarding what can actually be included in these advertisements; for our purposes, websites and blogs. It permits the following: Information concerning a lawyer’s name or law firm, address, and telephone number; the kinds of services the lawyer will undertake; the basis on which the lawyer’s fees are determined, including pricing for specific services and payment or credit arrangements; a lawyer’s foreign language ability; name of references; and a catch-all for all other information that might invite the attention of those seeking legal assistance.

However, there is a caveat! First, your state may actually have additional requirements. For instance, New York only permits foreign language ability if “fluent” and not just as for a general ability. Therefore, you might be complying with the persuasive ABA Rule, but in violation with the mandatory state rule (in this case, New York). Second, this Comment is also misleading. Sub(c) under Rule 7.2 actually requires that a communication–such as an advertisement which we now know includes an attorney or law firm’s website–to contain the name and office address of at least one lawyer of the firm or the actual firm itself.

Rule 7.3 is entitled “Direct Contact with Prospective Clients” and deals more so with solicitation–as opposed to advertising–to prospective clients. But, if the attorney or law firm has a mailing list or sends out a newsletter via e-mail, this rule can also be applicable to past clients are well! The rule prohibits in-person and live telephone calls to prospective clients, which includes “real-time electronic contact[s],” that involving advertising an attorney’s services in hopes or retention. Further, this rule requires that every e-mail sent must include “Advertising Material” at the beginning and end of the transmission. Moreover, this rule provides an exception for family, close friends, or past clients,

That is, unless another exception applies. Rule 7.3 still prohibits a lawyer from sending, for example an e-mail newsletter, to another person if that person has either 1) “made it known” they do not want to be solicited or if the communication 2) contains “coercion, duress or harassment.” Meaning, if a past client tells you they want to be unsubscribed from an e-mail mailing list, and you fail to do so, you will be in violation of this rule just as much as if you directly communicated with a prospective client!

Additionally, you may be able to extrapolate this rule to other aspects of social media. There is a seasonable argument that an attorney who directly sends a Facebook Friend message or “Friend Request” to the prospective client hoping for them to “Like” the attorney’s professional page might constitute a violation of this rule. Even if it does not generally violate this rule, if the prospective client rejects the first request and the attorney sends a second “Friend Request,” is the attorney now in violation of this rule? Arguably it would appear so!

Finally, the last rule that really applies directly to internet marketing such as attorney websites and blogs is Rule 7.5; “Firm Names and Letterheads.” Even though it does not appear that this rule applies, looking at the Comments clearly shows that it does. Specifically, Comment 1 directly remarks that firm names include website addresses. Further, it refers back to Rule 7.1 and reminds us that website addresses cannot be false or misleading. In effect, this means that an attorney or law firm cannot make their domain name “http://www.WinEveryTime.com” or something of that effect.

Yet, the Comments do permit trade names in a website address such as the example “Springfield Legal Clinic.” But duly note, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that state legislation may prohibit the use of trade names in professional practices if they deem fit. So this is another state-specific area for the attorney or law firm to review.

In conclusion, even though law has typically lagged behind in adopting such advancements like technology, there are still ample provisions in the ABA Rules to guide an attorney or law firm to comply with internet marketing. More and more legal professions will branch out on the internet, which will create a greater need for more ethical regulation. Yet for now, with the ABA Rules as a guidepost, a profession should understand their obligations in creating, managing, and promotion their legal practice on the internet through websites and blogs.

Tips On Finding The Best Divorce Lawyer For You

There is more to divorce than just severing your marital ties with your spouse.It also include the separation of conjugal assets, child custody issues, visitation rights and child support agreements. In other words, divorce is a very serious matter that is not supposed to be taken lightly, which is why it is really important to hire the best divorce attorneys to handle your divorce suit. The following are some tips on selecting the top divorce attorneys.

In finding the best divorce lawyer, you must seek advice of someone you know who has gone through this difficult time. They are the people who will mostly likely recommend you a lawyer. If that is not the case, you may also look for a reputable law firm in your area and contact them for a consultation. Just make sure the lawyer that you are hiring is holding an updated license to practice law, and he or she must have a good reputation in handling divorce suits.

In order to narrow down your search, rank at least five lawyers. Make an appointment with each of them so that you will be able to assess their competence. Usually, divorce lawyers will not ask for a quotation fee. The best divorce attorney will give you the most sensible advice in your initial interview. Also check to see if the lawyer that you are consulting possesses the characteristics of a top a caliber attorney. All top divorce attorneys possesses exceptional communication skills and negotiation skills. These lawyers have good people skills and they exemplify professionalism at all times. They are also the kind of lawyers that have a great deal of empathy inside them, because they will be able to understand your difficult situation. Furthermore, these lawyers have acquired the best legal education and they will go to great lengths to protect your best interests inside or outside of the courtroom.

There are many divorce lawyers out there. At the same time, they are a few competent divorce lawyers to choose from. In order to make sure you are hiring the best one, find a lawyer that will make sure that you will get the most benefits out of your divorce suit.

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