The California Bar’s Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC) is proposing a bright line test to determine when blog posts by attorneys should be considered advertising. The Committee’s draft opinion interpreted Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 1-400.

It proposes that legal blogging by an attorney is subject to the requirements and restrictions relating to lawyer advertising if the blog expresses the attorney’s availability for professional employment directly or implicitly. Also, a blog that is a part of an attorney’s or law firm’s professional website will be subject to the rules regulating attorney advertising to the same extent as the website itself.  They state that a stand-alone blog by an attorney that does not relate to the practice of law or express the attorney’s availability will not become subject to the rules simply because the blog contains a link to the attorney’s professional website.

COPRAC is accepting comments on the proposed opinion until 5 p.m. on March 23. They should be sent to Angela Marlaud at the State Bar of California, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA, 94105, or emailed to