2-A. [ABROGATED] Aspirational Goals for Lawyer Professionalism
Text of Rule effective until August 1, 2009.
(a) Aspirational Goals for Lawyer Advertising. A lawyer should ensure that any advertising that the lawyer communicates or causes to be communicated by publication, broadcast, or other media is informative to potential clients, is presented in an understandable and dignified fashion, and accurately portrays the serious purpose of legal services and our judicial system. When advertising, though not false or misleading, degenerates into undignified and unprofessional presentations, the public is not served, the reputation of the lawyer who advertises may suffer, and the public’s confidence in the legal profession and the judicial system may be harmed. Lawyers who advertise should recognize their obligation to advance the public’s confidence in the legal profession and our system of justice. In furtherance of these goals, lawyers who advertise should:
(1) Avoid statements, claims, or comparisons that cannot be objectively substantiated;
(2) Avoid representations that demean opposing parties, opposing lawyers, the judiciary, or others involved in the legal process;
(3) Avoid crass representations or dramatizations, hawkish spokespersons, slapstick routines, outlandish settings, unduly dramatic music, sensational sound effects, and unseemly slogans that undermine the serious purpose of legal services and the judicial system;
(4) Avoid representations to potential clients that suggest promises of results or will create unjustified expectations such as “guaranteed results” or “we get top dollar awards”;
(5) Clearly identify the use of professional actors or other spokespersons who may not be providing the legal services advertised unless it is readily apparent from the context of the advertisement that the actor or spokesperson does not provide the advertised legal services (e.g., a radio advertisement in which the speaker does not purport to be the lawyer or a member of the firm);
(6) Avoid the use of simulated scenes, actors who portray lawyers, clients or participants in the judicial system, and dramatizations unless they are clearly identified as such;
(7) Avoid representations that suggest that the ingenuity or prior record of a lawyer, rather than the merits of the claim, are the principal factors likely to determine the outcome of the representation; and
(8) Avoid representations designed to appeal to greed, exploit the fears of potential clients, or promote a suggestion of violence.
These aspirational goals are intended to provide suggested objectives that all lawyers who engage in advertising their services should be encouraged to achieve in order that lawyer advertising may be more effective and reflect the professionalism of the legal community.
(b) Aspirational Goals for Public Interest Legal Service. A lawyer engaged in active practice in the State of Maine should render unpaid public interest legal service of a type and amount reasonable in all the circumstances. For purposes of this rule, “unpaid public interest legal service” means:
(1) The provision of professional services at no fee or a reduced fee to persons of limited means;
(2) Participation in a program under which free legal services to the indigent are provided by individual lawyers upon referral from a central agency;
(3) The provision of professional services at no fee or a reduced fee to charitable organizations that provide services or support for the indigent; or
(4) Service in activities for improving the law, the legal system, or the legal profession.