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End-of-life notice: American Legal Ethics Library

As of March 1, 2013, the Legal Information Institute is no longer maintaining the information in the American Legal Ethics Library. It is no longer possible for us to maintain it at a level of completeness and accuracy given its staffing needs. It is very possible that we will revive it at a future time. At this point, it is in need of a complete technological renovation and reworking of the "correspondent firm" model which successfully sustained it for many years.

Many people have contributed time and effort to the project over the years, and we would like to thank them. In particular, Roger Cramton and Peter Martin not only conceived ALEL but gave much of their own labor to it. We are also grateful to Brad Wendel for his editorial contributions, to Brian Toohey and all at Jones Day for their efforts, and to all of our correspondents and contributors. Thank you.

We regret any inconvenience.

Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.

Maryland Lawyer's Rules of Professional Conduct

Comment - Rule 7.1

[1] This Rule governs all communications about a lawyer's services, including advertising and direct personal contact with potential clients permitted by Rules 7.2 and 7.3. Whatever means are used to make known a lawyer's services, statements about them should be truthful. The prohibition in paragraph (b) of statements that may create "unjustified expectations" would ordinarily preclude advertisements about results obtained on behalf of a client, such as the amount of a damage award or the lawyer's record in obtaining favorable verdicts, and advertisements containing client endorsements. Such information may create the unjustified expectation that similar results can be obtained for others without reference to the specific factual and legal circumstances.

[2] A communication will be regarded as false or misleading if it (1) asserts the lawyer’s record in obtaining favorable awards, verdicts, judgments, or settlements in prior cases, unless it also expressly and conspicuously states that each case is different and that the past record is no assurance that the lawyer will be successful in reaching a favorable result in any future case, or (2) contains an endorsement or testimonial as to the lawyer’s legal services or abilities by a person who is not a bona fide pre-existing client of the lawyer and has not in fact benefited as such from those services or abilities.

[3] See also Rule 8.4(f) for the prohibition against stating or implying an ability to influence a government agency or official or to achieve results by means that violate the Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct or other law.

Model Rules Comparison

This Rule substantially retains existing Maryland language and does not adopt Ethics 2000 Amendments to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.