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Florida Bar Association Advertising Compliance

Free Profile Listings

Star attorney example profile picture

Under Florida Bar rules, your free profile being listed in our website does not mean you are participating in a lawyer referral service or qualifying provider, as stated in the Florida bar’s website Q&A on Amendments to Rule 4-7.22

Star Attorney Advertising Program

Star attorney example profile picture

Having a free profile listing does not constitute participation with a qualifying provider, however, being part of the Star Attorney advertising program does.

Star Attorney Advertising Program Compliance Notes

As a qualifying provider, Lawyer Sphere complies with the Florida Bar Association's advertising rules as follows:

1. Lawyer Sphere must comply with lawyer advertising rules

The Florida Bar’s "Advertising Rules: Frequently Asked Questions" summarizes the ad requirements as follows: “For qualifying providers, presumptively valid content includes its name, location, contact info, referral fee charge, hours of operating, how referrals are made, areas of law in which referrals or matches are offered, and the geographic area in which the lawyers practice. Qualifying providers should look to Rule 4-7.16(b) for the complete list."

From the stated rules, Lawyer Sphere complies with the “Tombstone” advertisement rule, which consist of advertisements in the public media that only contain the presumptively valid content found in Rule 4-7.16. Furthermore, such advertisements do not have to be filed for review under Rule 4-7.20(a).

2. Lawyers may not divide fees with qualifying providers (except non-profit Florida Bar and voluntary bar lawyer referral services)

Our advertising programs are yearly flat-fee programs, not based on the attorney fees.

3. Qualifying providers must match consumers only to those authorized to provide the services in Florida

All attorneys listed in our website come directly from listings published at the Florida bar website, https://www.floridabar.org and their Lawyer Sphere’s account must be verified using the information provided there (e.g. email validation).

4. Qualifying providers must respond to official bar inquiries within 15 days

Any inquiry received shall be responded within 15 days.

5. Qualifying providers may not state or imply bar endorsement (except non-profit Florida Bar and voluntary bar lawyer referral services)

Lawyer Sphere is not endorsed by the Florida Bar.

6. Qualifying providers must use their actual names or a registered fictitious name

We are a Florida limited liability company, Lawyer Sphere LLC, DBA Lawyer Sphere.

7. Report to the bar the names of all participating lawyers annually

Every July 1st, Lawyer Sphere must fill out this form and send it to the Florida bar association.

8. May not require or pressure the lawyer to provide cross referrals.

We never ask attorneys to provide cross referrals to our website.

9. Must give participating lawyers documentation of compliance with bar rules

That’s exactly what this page is about.

10. Must disclose participating lawyers’ location by city, town or county when the referral is made

The City listed with the attorney’s profile is always displayed to customers.

11. May not use a name or otherwise imply to the public that the qualifying provider is a law firm, can practice law or directly provide legal services

Please look at the disclaimer at the bottom of every page on our website.

Requirements for the Participating Attorney

12. Attorneys must report to The Florida Bar within 15 days of beginning or ending participation with a qualifying provider

After signing up (or canceling) our Star Attorney advertising program, you should send a simple email to Mburkes@floridabar.org as stated in the sample template from the Florida Bar Association.

For sign-ups, here is the email format recommended by the Florida Bar Association:

Ms. Monica Burkes
Mburkes@floridabar.org
Lawyer Regulation Dept.
The Florida Bar
651 E. Jefferson St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399

Dear Ms. Burkes:

I am writing to report that I am working with Lawyer Sphere LLC. This provider has informed me that they have filed an annual report with The Florida Bar. Please let me know if they have not filed the required report.

Sincerely,

(Your name and address)
13. Must engage in due diligence in determining the qualifying provider’s compliance with the rule before beginning participation

With this page, we try to make it easy for you. However, this is not intended to be a substitute for the official set of Rules Regulating the Florida Bar. If you have any questions about our service please contact us.

14. Must cease participation and provide documentation to The Florida Bar within 30 days of ceasing participation if The Florida Bar notifies the lawyer that the qualifying provider is not in compliance