7.04 Filing Requirements for Advertisements and Solicitation Communications

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a) Except as exempt under Rule 7.05, a lawyer shall file with the Advertising Review Committee, State Bar of Texas, no later than ten (10) days after the date of dissemination of an advertisement of legal services, or ten (10) days after the date of a solicitation communication sent by any means:

(1) a copy of the advertisement or solicitation communication (including packaging if applicable) in the form in which it appeared or will appear upon dissemination;

(2) a completed lawyer advertising and solicitation communication application; and

(3) payment to the State Bar of Texas of a fee authorized by the Board of Directors.

(b) If requested by the Advertising Review Committee, a lawyer shall promptly submit information to substantiate statements or representations made or implied in an advertisement or solicitation communication.

(c) A lawyer who desires to secure pre-approval of an advertisement or solicitation communication may submit to the Advertising Review Committee, not fewer than thirty (30) days prior to the date of first dissemination, the material specified in paragraph (a), except that in the case of an advertisement or solicitation communication that has not yet been produced, the documentation will consist of a proposed text, production script, or other description, including details about the illustrations, actions, events, scenes, and background sounds that will be depicted. A finding of noncompliance by the Advertising Review Committee is not binding in a disciplinary proceeding or action, but a finding of compliance is binding in favor of the submitting lawyer as to all materials submitted for pre-approval if the lawyer fairly and accurately described the advertisement or solicitation communication that was later produced. A finding of compliance is admissible evidence if offered by a party.

Comment:

1. The Advertising Review Committee shall report to the appropriate disciplinary authority any lawyer whom, based on filings with the Committee, it reasonably believes disseminated a communication that violates Rules 7.01, 7.02, or 7.03, or otherwise engaged in conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects. See Rule 8.03(a).

Multiple Solicitation Communications

2. Paragraph (a) does not require that a lawyer submit a copy of each written solicitation letter a lawyer sends. If the same form letter is sent to several persons, only a representative sample of each form letter, along with a representative sample of the envelopes used to mail the letters, need be filed.

Requests for Additional Information

3. Paragraph (b) does not empower the Advertising Review Committee to seek information from a lawyer to substantiate statements or representations made or implied in communications about legal services that were not substantially motivated by pecuniary gain.

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