Because Skunkworks markets on behalf of law firms across Canada, we are required to stay up to date on the legal marketing rules of each province. In the past, we’ve provided quick refreshers on the legal marketing rules that exist in Nova Scotia, BC, Alberta, Ontario, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.
In this post, we’ll be discussing the marketing rules of New Brunswick.
Chapter 16 Advertising and Marketing Rules A & B
In New Brunswick, the core rules governing the practice of legal marketing are Rules A and B in Chapter 16 of the Law Society of New Brunswick’s Code of Conduct. Rule A indicates general requirements of legal marketing for the maritime province and states:
a) The lawyer may advertise the professional legal services offered by the lawyer and the charges made therefore as long as the advertising is provided primarily to impart information and is carried on through media and in a manner that upholds the dignity, the independence and the integrity of the legal profession and of the administration of justice and the institutions associated therewith.
The Law Society of New Brunswick’s Code of Conduct is uniquely vague in the sense that Rule A is followed by Rule B, another non-specific rule. Rule B states:
(b) The lawyer may market the professional legal services offered by the lawyer as long as the marketing is carried on for the benefit of the clients and of the prospective clients of the lawyer in a manner that upholds the dignity, the independence and the integrity of the legal profession and of the administration of justice and the institutions associated therewith.
Fortunately, the Law Society of New Brunswick’s Code of Conduct also includes commentary to more specifically indicate what type of advertising they’ll allow.
In general, any advertising that is misleading or unjustifiably raises the expectations of others is in violation of New Brunswick’s legal marketing rules. Lawyers are also barred from engaging in any advertising that is “undignified” in “bad taste” or “offensive”. Specific prohibitions include:
(a) states or causes or permits to have stated anything any part of which is inaccurate, is misleading or is likely to mislead, is derogatory, is not in good taste or that constitutes self-aggrandizement, or
(b) misrepresents the competence or the experience of the lawyer or of a partner or of an associate of the lawyer, or
(c) implies that the lawyer is able to obtain results not achievable by other lawyers or that the lawyer is in a position of influence, or
(d) approaches a person known or thought likely to be the client of another with the objective of replacing that other as the lawyer of the person, or
(e) directs advertising or marketing efforts toward a specific person or a specific group of persons where the person or the group of persons has apparently suffered injury or loss of any kind within the recent past, or
(f) compares the quality of the professional legal services of the lawyer, the time within which results can be obtained or the cost of those services with that of other lawyers, or
(g) violates any of the regulations, rules or rulings of the Society with respect to the advertising or the marketing of professional legal services.
Prohibition E is fairly unique to New Brunswick. However, it’s important to note that it is in place to stop lawyers from aggressively marketing to a specific tragedy (a plane crash, a large highway accident etc.). Regular personal injury advertising is fine so long as it adheres to all the other rules outlined by the Code.
Lawyers in New Brunswick should not:
- Create ads that can be viewed as “self-aggrandizement”
- Imply they can obtain results that other lawyers cannot
- Imply that they are in a position of unique influence
- Directly market to individuals that they believe to be the client of another lawyer
- Tailor their marketing to a specific tragedy
For more information, please refer to the Law Society of New Brunswick’s Code of Conduct.