Louise L. Hill


Today, virtually all the large law firms, as well as most of the small firms, have Web sites. These sites established by law firms vary considerably, with many containing a great deal of material that is informational in nature. When considering whether state ethics rules are applicable to lawyer communications on the Internet, an initial question is whether the communication is commercial speech. Regulations on advertising and solicitation that impose restrictions on commercial speech are limited to speech of that kind. This notwithstanding, states have uniformly held that these communications are subject to regulation under their respective rules governing lawyer advertising and solicitation, with little or no regard "for the characterization of speech as commercial or noncommercial."