Another swing at revamping client solicitation rules

There was considerable uproar in May when the Michigan Supreme Court amended MRPC 7.3 and published for comment further revisions of when, how and under what circumstances attorneys could solicit potential clients.

See Michigan Lawyers Weekly, “Does new advertising rule give big firms, insurance companies a head start?” (May 30, 2011).

When the proposal was first floated in July 2010, it was almost universally panned by those submitting comments on the Court’s web site. Follow the link and search “2002-24” when you get there.

Yesterday, the Court backtracked:

On order of the Court, and in light of concern expressed regarding the amendments adopted in this file [ADM File No. 2002-24] by order of the Court dated May 19, 2011, the order that entered on that date is rescinded, effective immediately … .

In yesterday’s order, the Court published for comment its latest proposal for regulating client solicitation. As explained by the staff comment accompanying the proposal:

Under the proposed amendments, MRPC 7.3 would be reformatted and would describe the general prohibition regarding a lawyer’s solicitation, and also would describe the types of communication that are allowed, including a lawyer’s general advertising, and a lawyer’s targeted communications to potential clients who are facing legal problems (as protected by Shapero v Kentucky Bar Ass’n, 486 US 466 [1988]).

The proposed amendments of MRPC 7.3 would require that inclusion of the designation “Advertising Material” on general advertising and targeted communications applies only to written materials, including e-mailed communications, but not to television or radio advertisements.

The amendment also requires a 30-day period to pass before an attorney may contact a potential client after a death, injury, or accident.

Comments are welcome, says the Court:

Comments on the proposal may be sent to the Supreme Court Clerk in writing or electronically by November 1, 2011, at P.O. Box 30052, Lansing, MI 48909, or

When filing a comment, please refer to ADM File No. 2002-24. Your comments and the comments of others will be posted at

We’ll keep you posted.

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