Regulation of Lawyers’ Use of Competitive Keyword Advertising

14 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2015 Last revised: 5 Feb 2016

See all articles by Eric Goldman

Eric Goldman

Santa Clara University - School of Law

Angel Reyes

Reyes Browne Reilley

Date Written: April 14, 2015

Abstract

Lawyers have enthusiastically embraced search engine advertisements triggered by consumers’ keywords, but the legal community remains sharply divided about the propriety of buying keyword ads triggered by the names of rival lawyers or law firms (“competitive keyword advertising”). This Essay surveys the regulation of competitive keyword advertising by lawyers and concludes that such practices are both beneficial for consumers and legitimate under existing U.S. law - except in North Carolina, which adopted an anachronistic and regressive ethics opinion that should be reconsidered.

Keywords: keyword advertising, adwords, trademark, publicity rights, professional responsibility, lawyers, search engine marketing

JEL Classification: K2, K42, M3, J44

Suggested Citation

Goldman, Eric and Reyes, Angel, Regulation of Lawyers’ Use of Competitive Keyword Advertising (April 14, 2015). University of Illinois Law Review, vol. 2016, page 103; Santa Clara Univ. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 9-15. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2594435

Eric Goldman (Contact Author)

Santa Clara University - School of Law ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States
408-554-4369 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ericgoldman.org

Angel Reyes

Reyes Browne Reilley ( email )

5950 Berkshire Lane
Suite 410
Dallas, TX 75225
United States
214-526-7900 (Phone)
214-526-7910 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.reyeslaw.com

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