Topic: Legal Malpractice
The Illinois Supreme Court recently adopted new Rules of Professional Conduct that has an impact on services provided by attorneys. One of the changes made to these Rules is related to Advertising. While advertising of legal services is allowed with the goal to allow the public to make an informed decision on who they might wish to retain, there are significant boundaries that are now in existence.
Rules 7.1 through 7.5 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit solicitation by any means, bar any attorney from claiming that they are specialists and may not set forth in any form of publication a statement that omits a material fact necessary to avoid it to be misleading. One of the common claims often seen are truthful statements that can be misleading by reporting results from verdicts or settlements where they might make a reasonable person to form an unjustified expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters.
Procuring legal services should start with examination on the website of the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission (www.iardc.org) where one can find whether the attorney has professional liability insurance and whether there has been any disciplinary action taken against the attorney. Another source of information is finding whether the attorney has been rated by Martindale-Hubbell, a national organization that uses other attorneys practicing in the same field to establish the rating of an attorney. Also, where an attorney has been appointed or elected to an organization, it offers some recognition of the views of his or her peers.