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The Florida Bar’s Board of Governors recently proposed an amendment to its Internet advertisement rule that will now allow lawyers to use Web links from their home Web page to advertise their past results, use statement characteristics concerning the quality of their legal services and testimonials, according to Elizabeth Tarbert, ethics counsel for the Florida Bar. The Florida Supreme Court will have to approve the amendment, and it could take more than a year to be adopted. In 1999, Florida was the first state to adopt a rule to specifically address advertising on the Internet, even before the ABA Model Rules did so, Tarbert said. “Florida’s rules break down advertising by media, such as TV, radio and the Internet, unlike other states that just apply all their advertising rules generally across the board,” she said. Previously, Rule 4-7.2 prohibited listing past results, testimonials and statements characterizing the quality of legal services. The amended Rule 4-7.6, which deals specifically with Internet Web site advertising, lifts these prohibitions from Internet Web sites, provided the Web page with this information is not the homepage and that specific disclaimers are used with these testimonials to explain that results will vary in each case and matter handled, Tarbert said. The homepage will still have to meet the requirements other media advertisers must under Rule 4-7.2.

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