Arizona Bar Rules Lawyers Can Use .Org’s

Wow talk about being a little behind the times.

According to a story in  azcentral.com, the state bar of Arizona has just issued an opinion allowing attorney’s in the state to use .org domain names.

Yes up to now attorney’s in Arizona have been prohibited from using .org domain names in their practice.

“”The ethics panel a decade ago ruled that firms that have websites must set them up with a “.com” suffix. That was based on the conclusion that a for-profit law firm’s use of the “.org” suffix “creates a false impression that the firm is either a non-profit or in some ways specifically affiliated with a non-profit.”

“”

“In light of the widespread use of the ‘.org’ suffix by for-profit organizations since (the 2001 opinion) was issued, the possibility that the public will be misled by a for-profit firm’s use of ‘.org’ on its website is remote,” the opinion reads.

“A reasonable person, desiring to verify whether an entity is non-profit, would not rely solely on the entity’s website address.”

But the ethics panel cautioned that this new opinion is not carte blanche for attorneys to do what they want with their Internet domain names. The key, the committee said, goes back to the ethics rules about being honest with clients, whether by commission or omissions.

“Thus, a lawyer or law firm may not use a domain name that falsely implies that the lawyer or the law firm is affiliated with a particular non-profit organization or with a governmental entity or which otherwise is false or misleading”

With the new gTLD’s scheduled to go live in 2013 and a .law a very realistic possibilty hopefully it won’t take the Arizona Bar 10 years to make a call on that one.

Comments

  1. says

    They obviously should have done this long ago, but .org DOES subconsciously convey more trust to visitors because of its common usage for non-profits. Debt relief and similar industries have been taking advantage of that trust factor, heavily using .org’s even if for-profit. I’ve seen some cases where page 1 for a financial term had more .org than .com results.

  2. BrianWick says

    “but .org DOES subconsciously convey more trust to visitors because of its common usage for non-profits”

    OK – and that means my several hundred legal .com’s that point to CheapLawyers.com, like AdamsLaw.com, RestrainingOrders.com and CheapDivorces.com will get that much more traffic – genius

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