A lawyer shall not make a false or misleading communication about the lawyer or the lawyer's services.
A communication is false if it contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law.
A communication is false or misleading if it:
The presumptions that statements are misleading contained in Rule 4-7.1(c), (g), (h), and (k) shall not apply to a not-for-profit organization funded in whole or in part by the Legal Services Corporation established byor to pro bono services provided free of charge by a not-for-profit organization, a court-annexed program, a bar association, or an accredited law school.
Mo. R. Gov. Bar Jud. 4-7.1
This Rule 4-7.1 governs all communications about a lawyer's services, including advertising permitted by Rule. Whatever means are used to make known a lawyer's services, statements about them should be truthful.
SUPPLEMENTAL MISSOURI COMMENT
This Rule 4-7.1 is not intended to alter the definition of "competence" as defined in Rule.
Rule 4-7.1 prohibits false or misleading communications. False and misleading statements have never enjoyed the limited first amendment protection afforded to other forms of commercial speech by Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 U.S. 350 (1977), and its progeny.
Ruleallows a verifiable statement regarding the number of cases tried or handled in a particular area without the disclaimer language of Rule .
Ruleaddresses the practice of using testimonials and endorsements by entertainers, sports figures, or other well-known persons. Rule requires the disclosure of the fact that a payment was made to obtain the testimony or endorsement, thereby giving the public an opportunity to evaluate the credibility of the statement. Rule deals with simulations primarily utilized in the electronic media.
Rulepermits simulations of a lawyer, client, victim, scene, or event if the advertising indicates that it is a simulation that is being portrayed. The simulation must contain a disclosure that it is a simulation in order to counteract any suggestion that the representation is a portrayal of actual fact. Rule also permits a communication to contain a picture or other representation of the lawyer or lawyers providing the legal services that are the subject of the advertisement.
"Price" advertising can provide a valuable service to consumers of legal services and is not discouraged by the Rule 4. However, characterization of rates or fees chargeable by the lawyer or law firm such as "cut-rate," "lowest," "giveaway," "below cost," "discount," or "special" is misleading unless the comparison can be factually sustained.
A communication is false or misleading if it states or implies that the lawyer is able to influence improperly or upon irrelevant grounds any tribunal, legislative body, or public official.
A communication that portrays a former judge in a robe or in the courtroom accompanied by a reference to the lawyer as "judge" may be misleading as it may create an unjustified expectation about results the lawyer can achieve.