7.05 Communications Exempt from Filing Requirements

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The following communications are exempt from the filing requirements of Rule 7.04 unless they fail to comply with Rules 7.01, 7.02, and 7.03:

(a) any communication of a bona fide nonprofit legal aid organization that is used to educate members of the public about the law or to promote the availability of free or reduced-fee legal services;

(b) information and links posted on a law firm website, except the contents of the website homepage, unless that information is otherwise exempt from filing;

(c) a listing or entry in a regularly published law list;

(d) an announcement card stating new or changed associations, new offices, or similar changes relating to a lawyer or law firm, or a business card;

(e) a professional newsletter in any media that it is sent, delivered, or transmitted only to:

(1) existing or former clients;

(2) other lawyers or professionals;

(3) persons known by the lawyer to be experienced users of the type of legal services involved for business matters;

(4) members of a nonprofit organization which has requested that members receive the newsletter; or

(5) persons who have asked to receive the newsletter;(f) a solicitation communication directed by a lawyer to:

(f) a solicitation communication directed by a lawyer to:

(1) another lawyer;

(2)a person who has a family, close personal, or prior business or professional relationship with the lawyer; or

(3) a person who is known by the lawyer to be an experienced user of the type of legal services involved for business matters;

(g) a communication in social media or other media, which does not expressly offer legal services, and that:

(1) is primarily informational, educational, political, or artistic in nature, or made for entertainment purposes; or

(2) consists primarily of the type of information commonly found on the professional resumes of lawyers;

(h) an advertisement that:

(1) identifies a lawyer or a firm as a contributor or sponsor of a charitable, community, or public interest program, activity, or event; and

(2) contains no information about the lawyers or firm other than names of the lawyers or firm or both, location of the law offices, contact information, and the fact of the contribution or sponsorship;

(i) communications that contain only the following types of information:

(1) the name of the law firm and any lawyer in the law firm, office addresses, electronic addresses, social media names and addresses, telephone numbers, office and telephone service hours, telecopier numbers, and a designation of the profession, such as “attorney,” “lawyer,” “law office,” or “firm;”

(2) the areas of law in which lawyers in the firm practice, concentrate, specialize, or intend to practice;

(3) the admission of a lawyer in the law firm to the State Bar of Texas or the bar of any court or jurisdiction;

(4) the educational background of the lawyer;

(5) technical and professional licenses granted by this state and other recognized licensing authorities;

(6) foreign language abilities;

(7) areas of law in which a lawyer is certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization or by an organization that is accredited by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization;

(8) identification of prepaid or group legal service plans in which the lawyer participates;

(9) the acceptance or nonacceptance of credit cards;

(10) fees charged for an initial consultation or routine legal services;

(11) identification of a lawyer or a law firm as a contributor or sponsor of a charitable, community, or public interest program, activity or event;

(12) any disclosure or statement required by these Rules; and

(13) any other information specified in orders promulgated by the Supreme Court of Texas.

Comment:

1. This Rule exempts certain types of communications from the filing requirements of Rule 7.04. Communications that were not substantially motivated by pecuniary gain do not need to be filed.

Website-Related Filings

2. While the entire website of a lawyer or law firm must be compliant with Rules 7.01 and 7.02, the only material on the website that may need to be filed pursuant to this Rule is the contents of the homepage. However, even a homepage does not need to be filed if the contents of the homepage are exempt from filing under the provisions of this Rule. Under Rule 7.04(c), a lawyer may voluntarily seek pre-approval of any material that is part of the lawyer’s website.

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