The New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) joined the Bergen County Bar Association in urging the Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics to review Opinion 735. The opinion found no issue with an attorney purchasing a competitor attorney’s name as a keyword in an internet search to ostensibly redirect a consumer to the purchasing lawyer’s website. The finding is one of four ethics opinions issued nationally that addresses the issue—Texas and Wisconsin found no issue with the practice; North Carolina found the practice unethical. The NJSBA filed a petition, authored by Bonnie C. Frost, for review of ACPE Opinion 735.

“The NJSBA is concerned that this conclusion condones gamesmanship over professionalism where, if an attorney has enough money to spend on advertising, an attorney can use a competitor’s name to redirect a consumer to that attorney’s website instead of the site the consumer originally intended,” said the NJSBA in its brief.

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