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Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics — Opinion 888

NYS Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics

Opinion 888

Background: An inquiring attorney wants to establish a law firm website. He asked whether the web site may include links to the websites of other businesses, particularly banks and real estate companies.

Opinion: The committee stated that whether or not a link on an attorney website is ethically permissible depends on the purpose of the link, the nature of the site to which a link is made, and the nature of the relationship between the attorney and the owner of the website to which the link is made. A lawyer may include links to other businesses on the lawyer’s website provided neither the link nor the linked material involves misrepresentation or confusion. Reciprocal links are not inherently unethical. A simple reciprocal link (without revenue generated for the law firm and without any financial relationship between the entities) is permitted under similar conditions as an information link.

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