37 CFR 11.703: Direct contact with prospective clients

Taken from the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 07.2015, Last Revised in November 2015

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11.703    Direct contact with prospective clients.

  • (a) A practitioner shall not by in-person, live telephone or real-time electronic contact solicit professional employment from a prospective client when a significant motive for the practitioner’s doing so is the practitioner’s pecuniary gain, unless the person contacted:
    • (1) Is a practitioner; or
    • (2) Has a family, close personal, or prior professional relationship with the practitioner.
  • (b) A practitioner shall not solicit professional employment from a prospective client by written, recorded or electronic communication or by in-person, telephone or real-time electronic contact even when not otherwise prohibited by paragraph (a) of this section, if:
    • (1) The prospective client has made known to the practitioner a desire not to be solicited by the practitioner; or
    • (2) The solicitation involves coercion, duress or harassment.
  • (c) Every written, recorded or electronic communication from a practitioner soliciting professional employment from a prospective client known to be in need of legal services in a particular matter shall include the words "Advertising Material" on the outside envelope, if any, and at the beginning and ending of any recorded or electronic communication, unless the recipient of the communication is a person specified in paragraphs (a)(1) or (a)(2) of this section.
  • (d) Notwithstanding the prohibitions in paragraph (a) of this section, a practitioner may participate with a prepaid or group legal service plan operated by an organization not owned or directed by the practitioner that uses in-person or telephone contact to solicit memberships or subscriptions for the plan from persons who are not known to need legal services in a particular matter covered by the plan.
[Added 78 FR 20180, Apr. 3, 2013, effective May 3, 2013]