Nevada's Lawyer Advertising Rules Take Effect

Rule changes to ensure Nevada lawyers' ads are accurate and that clients aren't misled take effect this week.

But there's no demand that ads be in good taste.

"Many people select their attorneys based on advertising," Nancy Allf, president of the State Bar of Nevada, said Thursday.

"These rule revisions are designed to ensure that the content advertised isn't false or misleading."

In approving the rules last April, the state Supreme Court said accuracy is vital but that's as far as the high court could go.

Taste "is something we cannot govern without infringing on First Amendment rights," said Justice Jim Hardesty.

One new rule prohibits lawyers from making claims that create an unjustified expectation about the outcome of a case.

If a law firm advertises that it has obtained certain verdicts, for example, it must be able to provide proof.

Another reform requires that ads promoting a fee arrangement must advertise the entire arrangement.

Justices had noted that one law firm advertised a low-percentage contingency fee, but didn't say the fee escalated if the case was not resolved in 30 days.

Lawyers must submit their ads to the State Bar for review within 15 days after publication or broadcast.

If an ad is deemed to be inaccurate or misleading, it must be pulled.

Attorneys can submit ads in advance for an advisory determination.

Because advertisements generally don't reveal a lawyer's background, attorneys also must provide their resumes to clients who request them.