Kansas Attorneys – False Advertising and Your Law License

As Kansas attorneys, we understand that we must meet a certain standard of ethical conduct.  However, it is sometimes difficult to determine if certain conduct is unethical, especially when it comes to attorney advertising.  There is a thin line between truthful advertising and “puffery” that may be considered false advertising.  For example, making statements that border on the line of guarantees or assurances can put your Kansas law license at risk.  This is because potential clients often misinterpret information they come across, and if there is a chance that a large number of potential clients will interpret your advertising to be a guarantee of certain results, this is bordering the line between ethical and unethical advertising.

Advertising Statements to Stay Away From

Whether you are advertising your legal services through a website, newspaper, yellow pages, or television, you need to be very careful with the statements you make such that there can be no mistake as to what your message is.  Stay away from words that elicit messages that guarantee satisfaction with your legal services, messages that guarantee certain results, and/or messages that suggest you are a specialist in a particular area of law, when in fact you are not a specialist.  It is not uncommon for attorney advertisements to be misinterpreted, as the entire idea of advertising is attraction, and many other industries are allowed to embellish in their advertisements.

However, with attorney advertising, even one word can get you into trouble.  As such, attorneys should consider using words or phrases that represent the attorney’s experience, reputation, and success that are backed up with some form of documentation.  For example, if you are a personal injury attorney with a successful trial record, you can back this statement up by showing your win/loss record, and/or showing how many plaintiff verdicts you have won, something that cannot be disputed.  It is always best to put yourself in the shoes of any potential client to truly understand what others interpret your statements to mean.  If there’s any ambiguity, you may consider adjusting the advertising statements so that only one conclusion or meaning can be reached.

Potential Consequences of False Advertising

Anyone can file a disciplinary complaint against a Kansas attorney, and while many of these complaints turn out to be meritless, the Kansas Office of Disciplinary Administrator will certainly take a look at the attorney’s advertising practices.  It’s even possible that another attorney, judge, legal staff member, or anyone else may file a complaint against you if there are concerns your advertising is false or deceptive in some way.  If the Kansas Office of Disciplinary Administrator believes you have falsely or deceptively advertised your legal services, you may be at risk for one or more of the following:

  • Temporary suspension of your Kansas law license;
  • Private or public reprimand; or
  • The loss of your Kansas law license.

All situations are different, and the specific conduct at issue will play a role in how severe the penalties may be.  However, it is important to remember that many allegations are not investigated, and if they are investigated, they may be dropped if there is often insufficient evidence to prove attorneys have falsely advertised your legal services.  To have a better understanding of what you may be dealing with, it is a good idea to speak with a Kansas Professional License Defense Attorney.

Contact Danielle Sanger of the Sanger Law Office Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation

As a Kansas attorney, you do your best to follow the rules and provide your clients with the best legal representation possible.  However, there are situations where mistakes in advertising have cost attorneys their license, or at least resulted in disciplinary action that places restrictions on an attorney’s license to practice law.  Allegations of false advertising, whether true or not, can be detrimental to your reputation if you are ultimately disciplined.  As such, you need to work with a fellow advocate to ensure you have the best defense possible to the allegations of false advertising.  Kansas Professional License Defense Attorney Danielle Sanger of the Sanger Law Office has the experience and skill to help you overcome a tough situation that has become a hindrance on your legal career.  To schedule your free consultation to discuss your situation with Danielle Sanger, contact the Sanger Law Office today by calling (785) 979-4353.