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November 4, 2016

Ohio Board of Professional Conduct

OHIO BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
OPINION 2016-8
Issued October 7, 2016
Withdraws Opinions 89-24, 2000-6
Client Testimonials in Lawyer Advertising and Online Services
Syllabus of Opinion:
1. A lawyer may include a client testimonial in advertising so long as it does not constitute a false, misleading, or nonverifiable communication about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services or create unjustified expectations for prospective clients. Testimonials generally referring to favorable outcomes for clients must contain an appropriate disclaimer to avoid unjustified expectations.
2. Client testimonials in an advertisement that state the amount of a settlement or verdict are inherently misleading even if a disclaimer is used.
3. A lawyer is responsible for monitoring testimonials and reviews made by clients on websites if the lawyer controls the content of the website. Online testimonials or reviews from clients about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services that contain false, misleading, or nonverifiable communications must be removed by the lawyer when the lawyer has control over the online content.
Read Full Opinion 2016-8 in its Entirety here