Seminars Produced by Law Firms for Prospective Clients
Opinion rules that a law firm may hold a seminar concerning automobile accident claims for members of the public who are randomly selected for invitation.
Editor's Note: This opinion was decided prior to the 1989 amendment to superseded (1985) Rule 2.4 permitting targeted direct mail advertising.
Lawyer A desires to invite members of the public to a periodically held seminar with refreshments at his office where the public would be given demonstrations and/or information with respect to what to do in case of an automobile accident. Can Lawyer A hold such seminars? If so, can he have his staff mail invitations to the general public either by using names from the phone book or by bulk occupant mailing? Could the attorney ethically invite members of the general public to these seminars by randomly selecting people through the telephone book and having staff, employees or an outside phone service call them with an invitation to attend such seminars or demonstrations?
Yes, Lawyer A may hold such seminars. However, he cannot, personally or through any staff, employees or outside agency, telephone persons to invite them to such seminars or demonstrations. Rule 2.4(b). Since the goal of such seminars or demonstrations would be to invite an employment relationship, soliciting persons to come to the seminar demonstration would be equivalent to soliciting professional employment from those persons. He could invite such persons by mailing invitations to persons selected randomly from the telephone directory or by bulk occupant mailing. He could not preselect the people by any means which would target persons specifically likely to need such legal services. Rule 2.4(b)