Court Board Says Ohio Lawyers Can Text Possible Clients

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A board appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court says that lawyers can text prospective clients if they comply with applicable rules and that lawyers may practice with more than one Ohio firm simultaneously.

The court's Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline issued the advisory opinions this week.

The commission said text messages to prospective clients shouldn't contain a false, misleading or non-verifiable communication or involve coercion or harassment, among other things. Text messages also shouldn't cost the prospective client, and lawyers must be diligent about ensuring that any text message ad or solicitation complies with federal and state telemarketing laws.

The board also says lawyers practicing with multiple firms must be diligent in avoiding conflicts of interest, inform clients of all multiple firm associations and maintain client confidentiality.