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B. Advertising on the Net



Georgia should make it illegal for persons who are not competent in Georgia law to advertise legal services to Georgia residents. Georgia has a legitimate state interest in making sure that its citizens are not given incorrect legal advice.

It shall be unlawful for an individual or corporation to advertise the availability of legal services in the state unless the individual or corporation is qualified to perform the service advertised.

An individual or corporation advertises within the state when he places advertising material where he reasonably expects people from the state of Georgia to access it without a clear and conspicuous disclosure that the service is not available to those whose legal issues pertain to the state of Georgia. A statement to the effect that the service is only available to persons whose legal issues pertain to the States of A, B, and C (not including Georgia) will suffice. All advertising material must be clearly labeled as such at the beginning and end of the document (electronic or otherwise).

An individual is qualified to perform a particular legal service if the individual is licensed to practice law in Georgia, or the advertised service concerns solely issues of federal law, will not foreseeably involve appearance in a federal or state court within Georgia, and the attorney conducts no more than 25% of his business with Georgia clients, and the individual is licensed to practice in another state.

A corporation is qualified to perform an advertised legal service if an employee of the corporation is licensed to practice law in Georgia, and that employee will be responsible for performing or directly supervising the provision of the advertised service, or the advertised service concerns solely issues of federal law, and will not foreseeably involve appearance in a federal or state court within Georgia, and the corporation conducts no more than 25% of his business with Georgia clients, and the individual perofrming the work is licensed to practice law in another state.

Advertising material is any combination of sounds, images, and text which could be reasonably expected to increase the likelihood that the person reading the material would select the attorney providing the material as their attorney.

There is a rebuttable presumption that material which gives only general information about the law, and which is scholarly in tone, is not advertising material, even if the material gives the author's name and electronic or postal address and phone number. Such material should be accompanied by a disclaimer placed no further down than the third screen of the web site. Such disclaimer should state that the information is only being provided for general use and is not being provided in the nature of the attorney-client relationship. It should also state that the information may not include current legal developments and that the information is not intended to substitute for legal advice by a licensed attorney.

There is a rebuttable presumption that information is advertising material where the information gives any indication that the attorney is open to establishing a attorney client relationship or to discussing specific facts, or where an expedited way of contacting the attorney is provided. This includes a situation where a person is invited to register their "visit" to a home page if the attorney ever sends additional material to those registering which would be classified as advertising material under this paragraph.




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