Legal Advice Employment Law

Independent contractors or sham contracting: Here’s some Employment Law Advice

A Senate inquiry seeks to determine if the so-called “gig” economy is sham contracting, and if it is, they want to determine if young workers are exploited. Evidence has been presented that gig contracting is a means for corporations to avoid legislation that protects workers and workplace rights. For example, young workers perform temporary work, but they do not receive safety insurance or minimum pay.

Work under the “gig” economy are usually piecemeal, short-term contracts or engagements. Young workers work on internet platforms such as Uber, Foodora, Deliveroo, and Airtasker. They criticise these large corporations working through internet platforms for their flagrant disregard for legislation and avoidance of obligations to workers. These digital platforms receive commissions or fees from each short-term contract fulfilled by young workers.

One problem is, these internet platforms engage young workers as independent contractors but do not provide the workers with minimum conditions or entitlements. Young workers do not receive hourly rates for the work they perform. They are often paid per task regardless of how many hours are spent on the job. Some may be paid by the hour, but the hourly rate may not comply with the minimum hourly wage set by law.

Workers seek an amendment to the Fair Work Act to make sham contracting a strict liability offence. They want “gig” economy internet platforms to be included in the definition of “employers” so that the young workers who sign contracts will be protected as “employees”. They especially want the internet platforms to be responsible for their worker’s safety by providing their workers, health and safety insurance.

The same trend has been noted and complained of in the fashion industry where young workers are selected as “interns” to learn the ins and outs of the fashion industry. The young interns are not paid a salary or any form of compensation. They have none of the entitlements of employment, and they have no health or medical insurance. They receive the benefit of experience, the right to put their internship on their resume as work experience, and they obtain introductions to influential persons who can provide them with future employment or further mentoring. They work long hours, often beyond the regular eight (8) hours of work per day without pay for overtime for work rendered after hours.

If you are an employer, you might find it cost-effective for your company to hire independent contractors. You may find that using an internet platform to obtain workers for short-term tasks helps curb your overhead expenses. The only risk is one contractor filing a claim for work entitlements, underpayment of salaries, or unjust dismissal.

Disability Lawyer Launches Successful Case For Wrongful Termination of Disability Benefits

Court Finds that Provident Wrongfully Terminated Long-term Disability Benefits

After over two years of valiantly trying to continue working, Nancy Perryman finally reached the point where she could no longer fulfill the duties of her position as the agency manger of Western Farm Bureau Insurance Company’s metropolitan Phoenix and Northern Arizona district. Her diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome had already forced her to cut her workload back from 10 – 12 hours a day plus frequent weekend work to only 8 hours a day and no weekends. Now, for almost five months her supervisor had been covering up for her constant memory lapses. On February 28, 1997, she and her supervisor finally agreed that it was time to quit. She had participated in an ERISA governed disability plan as an employee of Western Family Bureau, so she filed a claim for long-term disability benefits with the plan administrator, Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company (Provident). This was in April 1997.

Provident approves claim for long-term disability benefits using “Own Occupation” definition.

After Provident reviewed Perryman’s medical files, the disability insurance company determined that Perryman was indeed disabled from working in her “own occupation”. The January 1998 decision was retroactive to June 1, 1997. Provident terminated Perryman’s disability benefits on May 31, 1999 at the end of the “own occupation” phase because the disability insurance company no longer considered her disabled from “any occupation.” This much broader definition of disability meant that Perryman had to prove that she was unable to work 40 hours a week in any occupation for which her education, experience or training fit her.

The specific policy also stated that she would qualify under the “any occupation” provision if she was not able to match 80% of the indexed earnings from any occupation she was able to perform based on her education, experience or training. Disability attorney files wrongful disability termination lawsuit against Provident. Perryman began by using Provident’s administrative appeals process to protest Provident’s termination of her long-term disability benefits. When this failed, she took the matter before the U.S. District Court’s District of Arizona with the assistance of a disability attorney.

The disability attorney argued for a de novo review of Perryman’s file. Usually, disability insurance companies ask the Court to review the record using the arbitrary and capricious standard because it is deferential to insurance company decisions, but in this case, Provident agreed that the Court should review the record de novo. This meant that the Court would consider the evidence afresh, as though it was the insurance company seeing the information for the first time. Provident must have felt quite confident that the record would prove Perryman had failed to establish her inability to work.

Because the Court was reviewing the record de novo, it had to answer three questions to reach a conclusion.

1) Were Perryman’s impairments significant enough to prevent her from working in any occupation?

2) Would Perryman be able to meet the earnings and vocational requirements of the disability plan?

3) Would the mental limitations provision of the Plan disqualify Perryman from long-term disability benefits?

This final point was most important because it was based on Provident’s answer to this third question that the disability insurance company had determined its final denial. Provident claimed that Perryman had been misdiagnosed with CFS. The disability insurance company claimed that she was actually suffering from depression, which disqualified her from receiving long-term disability benefits after two years.

Disability attorney and Court agree on what the medical record says.

At least three treating physicians had agreed on the diagnosis of CFS. In addition to this, the doctor Provident hired to perform an independent medical examination agreed that Perryman’s symptoms met the often vague criteria for CFS. When Perryman appealed her termination of long-term disability benefits, Provident hired a physician to review Perryman’s file. It was this physician, Dr. E.C. Curtis, who came up with the misdiagnosis/depression theory. Which side would the Court validate? The Court looked at the opinions expressed by Perryman’s treating physicians.

Unlike Provident, which refused to consider what it considered self-reported symptoms, the Court accepted the fact that Perryman’s impairments as recorded by her physicians was factual. These doctors had seen her over the span of many years, on a frequent basis. Provident argued that the opinion given by their in-house physician was an equally credible diagnosis. The Court found only one problem with that—he had never even spoken with Perryman, let alone seen the woman. The Court found that Provident did not have the right to consider the opinions of physicians who had treated her for years worthless based on a mere alternative reading of her medical record.

The Court recognized that legally and medically CFS is a condition that depends primarily upon self-reported symptoms because there are no tests to quantify the fatigue. So the primary question left to answer was this—Did Perryman’s medical record demonstrate that Perryman had lost the capacity to work for an 8-hour day in a sedentary position? Perryman’s medical record abounded with objective evidentiary support for the physician’s opinions. There were physical examinations and various clinical tests. The only area not well covered involved testing for mental impairments. Provident felt this invalidated the observations made by Perryman’s treating physicians, yet all three of her doctors had all recorded memory problems. One had observed that the problem was not organic, meaning it wasn’t caused by some type of brain damage. Rather he connected Perryman’s memory issues with her inability to get restful sleep due to her CFS related fatigue. Numerous interviews with people who had worked with her and knew her well were in the record confirming the memory issues.

The Court also questioned Dr. Curtis’ recommendations for clinical testing after reading an article from the American Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which was in the record. This article was given to Dr. Curtis along with Perryman’s file. It clearly stated that certain tests were not valuable as diagnostic tools for CFS. Yet Dr. Curtis argued that they were needed to demonstrate Perryman’s disability.

Disability attorney and Court agree that chronic fatigue syndrome is often sporadic and evaluations subjective.

One of the reasons the Court frowned on Provident’s failure to recognize the merit of Perryman’s doctor’s opinions stemmed from the Court’s recognition that CFS symptoms are known to be sporadic in nature. The opinions of doctors who had seen her over the span of several years were more viable than the opinion of a physician who had no history with Perryman. CFS is a subjective disease and physical examinations sometimes show functionality within normal limits. Lee v. Bellsouth Telecommunications established that “the consistent diagnosis of chronic pain syndrome” along with “consistent observations of physical manifestations … constitute objective medical evidence… Indeed, the only evidence of a qualifying disability may sometimes be the sort of evidence … characterize[d] as ‘subjective’.” The Court expected the opinions of the doctors to appear subjective, yet as a matter of law, this did not make them invalid.

The Court also found that the record provided additional evidence that Perryman could not sustain a full-time position. Dr. Barton, a Provident medical advisor, had performed a file review on August 4, 1997. The information he found there convinced him that there was no position that would be feasible for Perryman at that time. After an independent medical examination performed by Dr. Harris at Provident’s request on October 17, 1997, the doctor concluded that she would not be able to work more than part-time in a sedentary position. After an interview in February 1998, Provident employee Joseph Mauvais concluded Perryman was unable at that time to work in any capacity. Nothing in the record suggested that Perryman’s condition had improved over time.

Disability attorney and Court agree on importance of Social Security disability approval.

Because Provident made applying for Social Security disability benefits mandatory before she could qualify for long-term disability benefits under the “any occupation” terms of the plan, the Court considered it reasonable to expect Provident to explain why it did not consider her approval for benefits valid support of Perryman’s disability. Provident pointed to the functional capacity evaluation (FCE) performed on April 12, 1999 as their reason for disagreeing with the Social Security determination. The Court found that the FCE did not demonstrate that Perryman was able to work on a full-time basis consistently. There were problems with the FCE’s reporting. The examiner failed to record how long Perryman was actually tested.

The report only stated that the tests were given over a span of four hours. Perryman reported that during the four hours, she was only actively testing for less than an hour. The FCE report claimed to have calculated the rest Perryman required between tests into the results, but nothing in the explanation made it clear how the test results demonstrated Perryman’s ability to work in a sedentary position for an 8-hour day. The Court considered Stup v. UNUM Life Ins. Co. of America where the 4th Circuit ruled that FCE results conducted over 2-1/2 hours cannot be extrapolated into the ability to work an eight, or even a four-hour, workday. When compared to the Department of Labor’s sedentary work classification, the FCE examiner’s conclusions were also inconsistent with the DOL definition of sedentary work—”sitting most of the time.” The FCE reported that Perryman was only able to sit for four hours every day. Based on previous Court decisions, a four-hour sitting tolerance cannot be considered proof of ability to perform sedentary work.

Perryman’s had presented a sworn affidavit to Provident claiming that she had needed to take a 45 minute nap after she completed the 13-minute treadmill test. The FCE did not contradict this information. The report also failed to contradict her claim that she had spent about an hour in actual testing during the four hour time frame in which the tests were performed. The Court also found issues with the FCE summary. It stated that Perryman could sit for six hours, when the report originally stated four. An unidentified person had crossed out the four and written a six in its place. This faulty information was then sent to both Dr. Curtis and Pam Purdue, who prepared the transferable skills analysis. The Court looked at the other FCEs from earlier in the record. Not one had ever stated that Perryman could sit more than four hours. The most recent FCE was even more restrictive than the opinions expressed by her treating physicians in the past. It stated that she could only stand, walk, drive and sit for 1/2 hour at a time. Yet Dr. Curtis had concluded that Perryman could work an 8-hour day.

Disability attorney and Court agree that video surveillance fails to show ability to work 8-hour day.

Provident pointed to the video surveillance as proof that Perryman’s daily activities contradicted her self-reported disabling fatigue. The Court asked Provident to identify what in the video contradicted the functional abilities that Perryman claimed to not have. The Court saw nothing in the record claiming she could not drive. Nothing in the record indicated that she had any trouble lifting, bending or moving objects. Typical of CFS, it was also consistent with her testimony that she had days when she was able to do more than others.

The Court found the video surveillance failed to prove Perryman was capable of working an 8-hour day.

Court rules that working despite disabling condition cannot be used as reason to deny benefits.

In Hawkins v. First Union Corp. Long-Term Disability Plan, the Court established an important principle for disability claimants. When a person who is diagnosed with a disabling condition continues forcing themselves to work even when they rightfully could and probably should stop working, the disability insurance company cannot turn around and use an individual’s ability to push themselves heroically as a reason to deny disability benefits at a later time. Provident argued that between 1994 and 1997, Perryman had earned over $5000 a month, despite her diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome.

The disability insurance company reasoned that if she could do this, she would not be disabled under the “Any Occupation” provision of the policy. This argument overlooked the fact that she had to cut her hours back, which was noted in her medical record. Provident neglected to consider that most of her income during this time came from her portion of the commissions brought in by the staff under her and deferred compensation. It also overlooked the observations of her coworkers that the quality of her work degraded to such an extent that she was finally forced to stop working, which reduced her commissions to zero.

Provident violated Perryman’s legal rights when it sought to use the fact that Perryman had made every effort to continue working after her CFS was diagnosed as a reason to exclude her from qualifying for disability benefits.

Disability attorney argues for qualification under Indexed Earnings provision of policy.

Provident’s plan had an “80% of Indexed Earnings” provision, even if she was capable of working an 8-hour day in a sedentary position. To make 80% of the indexed earnings she had been bringing in before her disability, Perryman’s disability attorney argued she would have to be able to earn about $182,073 a year. This was clearly impossible with her current functional limitations. Many of the jobs listed by Provident as jobs Perryman could work in didn’t even come to 15% of this figure. Provident argued that “Any Occupation” disability was calculated on 80% of the Indexed Earnings from any occupation she was “reasonably fitted by education, training, or experience” to perform. The Court read the policy language. It unambiguously linked the 80% to Perryman’s pre-disability earnings.

The initial transferable skills analysis only reflected positions that earned $28,000 – 35,000/year. A second analysis was suddenly able to find positions that earned $137,000 – 249,000/year. Yet in order to earn these higher incomes, Perryman had to be able to handle an 8-hour day—something that her medical record did not support.

Court refuses to allow new reason for disability benefits termination.

The last thing the Court considered was Provident’s attempt to invoke the Mental Limitations provision of the policy. The medical record clearly stated that Perryman’s depression had arisen as a secondary symptom of her CFS. Provident had not denied the claim initially based on the Mental Limitation clause, and to invoke the clause in its final denial, when Perryman’s disability attorney had not recourse but the courtroom, was a violation of ERISA regulations. In addition to this, prior case law has firmly established that if an ERISA plan gives another reason as the primary cause of the disability, the mental limitation clause cannot not be applied.

Provident had not denied the claim for this reason. It could not ask the Court to consider it now. The Court reversed Provident’s termination of long-term disability benefits. The Court ruled that Provident erred in denying Perryman disability benefits under the “Any Occupation” provision of her long-term disability policy. Provident must pay her all the back benefits due from June 1, 1999, and continue making payments through the date of her 65th birthday unless at some future date, she ceases to remain disabled. Perryman’s disability attorney asked that she be awarded attorney’s fees and costs under ERISA rules and also asked that she also be awarded pre-judgment interest on all the disability benefits Provident failed to pay her. The Court concluded that Perryman was entitled to this compensation. If Provident doesn’t like the bill presented for attorney’s fees, we may be hearing more about this case at a future date.

A Brief Description of Personal Injury as Well a Personal Injury Lawyer

A Personal Injury Lawyer is the best remedy for all your personal injury related cases. Although it might not be necessary at all to go to the court that in any case includes uncertainty regarding the result of the case. In case you feel like you do need the help of the personal injury lawyer that you think might prove to be helpful in getting the best results then it would be prudent to seek help from the right attorney. One thing that might prove to be helpful is that you must select the attorney in the right manner. First things first, the correct definition of the personal injury is any physical or psychological injury that you might have undergone due to any reason.

There are many laws in the constitution that are very helpful in dealing with the cases of personal injuries. In addition to the laws there are many torts that are in place to tackle the cases of personal injury. In almost all the cities of USA there are many attorneys who are ready to help you in case you have any of the cases with which a person might need help. Specifically in the city of Clearwater you can find plenty of attorneys that are ready to help you in case you need help regarding the personal injury cases. But there are many points that are to be taken care of if you are really thinking about hiring a personal injury lawyer and that too in the city of Clearwater.

Some of these points are that the experience of the law firm that you are hiring must be extensive enough in order to execute the case in the most appropriate manner. The law firm that you hire must be emboldened enough to negotiate with the insurance companies, deal with the opposing lawyer in achieving out of court settlements and also while litigating in court. In case you are seriously contemplating of hiring a lawyer then you can research about the abilities of that lawyer online. One of the things that you should be really contemplating is the fee structure of the law firm or the attorney that you hire. Generally the fee is paid only once the case is won, so make sure that the firm is clear regarding that aspect. It is not at all required that all the cases should go to the court. And it would always be prudent that you spend a lot of time before finally deciding upon hiring a lawyer.

Defining a Patent Lawyer Selecting The Attorney

Patent lawyers have gained importance in current days because of the increased awareness among people throughout the world. A patent lawyer is an attorney who has specialized qualification which is required for representing clients in getting patents and trademarks. These lawyers play an important role in acting in all maters of patent laws and practices. The qualification of patent lawyer is different from general legal practitioner.

The patent attorney is also called as patent agent in some jurisdictions. In different countries the qualification criteria is varied for patent lawyers. In some countries the attorney is required to have certain qualifications while others require different degrees of the same designation. In today’s world, one of the most known attorneys is patent lawyer, who acts as an instrumental. The patent attorney helps the new businesses and products. If you are among those who are roaming with an idea of new product, then you need to contact the patent attorney for getting your idea properly patented.

There are still some people who are not aware of the definition of patent lawyer, today going through this article would enable you to understand about it deeply. It is an important thing to get to know that what patent lawyers are and how they work, how much they charge and how much the attorney would be able to make in each month. Well telling you one interesting thing: patent attorneys and business lawyers are not the same. For example, if you are running an established business and you need a legal counsel, then you would require the attorney not the patent lawyer. The patent is mainly used for making the idea legal before it gets stolen. In this way, the businessman makes money out of it.

The patents are usually issued by federal government and once issued; they last for almost twenty years. Some of the people think that they will handle the patent task on their own, but they do not know that this process is complicated and it involves numerous steps. An individual would require a patent lawyer for handling all such works. The first duty of patent attorney is to explain the important laws and rules of making the idea patented. The client must be aware of all the up-to-date laws and he / she must know how they work and what processes are involved. The lawyer must tell the clients about all paperwork and documentation. The attorney fills out the paperwork correctly. The lawyer needs to be skillful enough to give arguments in front of the professionals and federal government.

When you are going to select the attorney, you need to keep in mind few things, initially is the experience of the attorney. The lawyer must have handled such cases before which you have given to him / her so that he / she would deal with it easily. The qualification and certain practical experience should be with the lawyer. The attorney must be aware of the rules and regulations of patent and trademarks of the area where you are starting new business. The attorney must have passed the bar exam which is required for patent lawyer qualification.

The patent lawyer needs to be trained enough, so that he / she can deal with complex and complicated paper work. You need to select the lawyer after conducting few numbers of interviews. Just do not rush for one lawyer, instead you must look up for numerous lawyers and then select the one among them. You should decide the charges of the lawyer prior to appointment in order to plan out your budget before starting a new business. The cost of the lawyer must be included and capitalized in launching of new product or business.

Online Law Firm Marketing: Are Attorneys Complying With ABA Ethical Rules?

Law is a profession ripe with tradition. This profession is one of the few self-regulating professions and is governed by a myriad of professional rules, ethical opinions, and applicable common law. It is well-known that, historically, the law itself has slothfully adjusted to incorporate technological advances within its parameters. This is true regarding the ethical rules of professional conduct. Yet, as more and more legal professionals are now turning to the internet to market their practice through legal websites, blogs, and other social media outlets, there will become an increased need for further regulation regarding ethical advertising on the internet.

The American Bar Association (“ABA”) has draft model ethical rules for states to adopt and lawyers to follow. Today, these rules are called the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (the “Rules”) and were adopted by the ABA’s House of Delegates in 1983. These Rules were modified from the Model Code of Professional Responsibility. Additionally, the precursor to both was actually the 1908 Canons or Professional Ethics.

As noted, the Rules are not actually binding on an attorney until their state has either adopted them or some other related professional rules. Presently, all states except for California have adopted the ABA’s Rules at least in part. Most of the states have adopted the ABA’s Rules in full with slight modifications or additions to them. Other states, like New York, have adopted the ABA’s Rules but included somewhat substantial modifications.

The Rules and each state’s compilations do include provisions related to advertising and solicitation. Depending on the state, the distinction between each of these terms could be minimal or significant. Generally, “advertising” refers to any public or private communication made by or on behalf of a lawyer or law firm about the services available for the primary purpose of which is for retention of the lawyer or law firm’s services. In contrast, “solicitation” is a form of advertising, but more specifically is initiated by or for the lawyer or law firm and is directed to or targeted at a specific group of persons, family or friends, or legal representatives for the primary purpose of which is also for retention of the lawyer or law firm’s services.

Even though the Rules do address advertising and solicitation to the internet, they are unsurprisingly lacking. These gaps are somewhat filled by ethical opinions or case law. But this generally means that an attorney has already gone through the litigation process and, unfortunately, likely been subjected to discipline.

However, the Rules do provide a fairly strong foundation for an attorney or law firm read over. Even if your state’s professional rules do not adequately present internet marketing provisions, you may still consult the ABA’s Rules for guidance.

Within the Rules, the primary place to look is Rule 7. This rule pertains to “Information About Legal Services” and houses the majority of the applicable rules to internet marketing for attorneys. Duly note, that there still will be other provisions scattered throughout the Rules which apply to marketing. This is just the most applicable concentration of provisions an attorney should consult first before looking for those ancillary sections elsewhere.

Rule 7.1 is the first and more overarching provision an attorney should be concerned with. This section is entitled “Communications Concerning a Lawyer’s Services” and prohibits a lawyer from making “false or misleading communication about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services. A “false or misleading” communication is further defined in the rule and Comments as one that “contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading.” Most pertinently, Comment 1 expressly states that Rule 7.1 does apply to a lawyer or law firm’s website, blog, or other advertising because it states that this provision “governs all communications about a lawyer’s services, including advertising permitted by Rule 7.2.”

Under Rule 7.2, which is entitled broadly as “Advertising,” allows attorneys to advertise “through written, recorded, or electronic communication.” Comment 3 confirms that “electronic media, such as the Internet, can be an important source of information about legal services.” Thus, this only solidifies the fact that 7.2 and, therefore 7.1, apply to internet legal marketing.

In addition, Comment 2 for Rule 7.2 provides further information regarding what can actually be included in these advertisements; for our purposes, websites and blogs. It permits the following: Information concerning a lawyer’s name or law firm, address, and telephone number; the kinds of services the lawyer will undertake; the basis on which the lawyer’s fees are determined, including pricing for specific services and payment or credit arrangements; a lawyer’s foreign language ability; name of references; and a catch-all for all other information that might invite the attention of those seeking legal assistance.

However, there is a caveat! First, your state may actually have additional requirements. For instance, New York only permits foreign language ability if “fluent” and not just as for a general ability. Therefore, you might be complying with the persuasive ABA Rule, but in violation with the mandatory state rule (in this case, New York). Second, this Comment is also misleading. Sub(c) under Rule 7.2 actually requires that a communication–such as an advertisement which we now know includes an attorney or law firm’s website–to contain the name and office address of at least one lawyer of the firm or the actual firm itself.

Rule 7.3 is entitled “Direct Contact with Prospective Clients” and deals more so with solicitation–as opposed to advertising–to prospective clients. But, if the attorney or law firm has a mailing list or sends out a newsletter via e-mail, this rule can also be applicable to past clients are well! The rule prohibits in-person and live telephone calls to prospective clients, which includes “real-time electronic contact[s],” that involving advertising an attorney’s services in hopes or retention. Further, this rule requires that every e-mail sent must include “Advertising Material” at the beginning and end of the transmission. Moreover, this rule provides an exception for family, close friends, or past clients,

That is, unless another exception applies. Rule 7.3 still prohibits a lawyer from sending, for example an e-mail newsletter, to another person if that person has either 1) “made it known” they do not want to be solicited or if the communication 2) contains “coercion, duress or harassment.” Meaning, if a past client tells you they want to be unsubscribed from an e-mail mailing list, and you fail to do so, you will be in violation of this rule just as much as if you directly communicated with a prospective client!

Additionally, you may be able to extrapolate this rule to other aspects of social media. There is a seasonable argument that an attorney who directly sends a Facebook Friend message or “Friend Request” to the prospective client hoping for them to “Like” the attorney’s professional page might constitute a violation of this rule. Even if it does not generally violate this rule, if the prospective client rejects the first request and the attorney sends a second “Friend Request,” is the attorney now in violation of this rule? Arguably it would appear so!

Finally, the last rule that really applies directly to internet marketing such as attorney websites and blogs is Rule 7.5; “Firm Names and Letterheads.” Even though it does not appear that this rule applies, looking at the Comments clearly shows that it does. Specifically, Comment 1 directly remarks that firm names include website addresses. Further, it refers back to Rule 7.1 and reminds us that website addresses cannot be false or misleading. In effect, this means that an attorney or law firm cannot make their domain name “http://www.WinEveryTime.com” or something of that effect.

Yet, the Comments do permit trade names in a website address such as the example “Springfield Legal Clinic.” But duly note, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that state legislation may prohibit the use of trade names in professional practices if they deem fit. So this is another state-specific area for the attorney or law firm to review.

In conclusion, even though law has typically lagged behind in adopting such advancements like technology, there are still ample provisions in the ABA Rules to guide an attorney or law firm to comply with internet marketing. More and more legal professions will branch out on the internet, which will create a greater need for more ethical regulation. Yet for now, with the ABA Rules as a guidepost, a profession should understand their obligations in creating, managing, and promotion their legal practice on the internet through websites and blogs.