You’ve been injured in an accident and now you want to hire the best personal injury lawyer in Calgary, or Alberta, or even Canada. You open up your browser and Google “best personal injury lawyer in Calgary” and start sifting through the results. First are the ads at the top of the page. Maybe you skip over those because you’re looking for search results that aren’t paid for. You’re looking for an expert or maybe a specialist. Perhaps you want someone who is aggressive, who publishes the huge dollar amounts he or she has won for clients. But there are strict rules surrounding the advertising of legal services in the Province of Alberta, which prohibit or restrict these practices and others.
The Law Society of Alberta Code of Conduct provides a set of ethical rules for Alberta lawyers that must be followed. Chapter 3 of the Code deals with marketing of legal services. Under this chapter, an Alberta lawyer must not advertise him- or herself as a specialist or expert in a given area of law, unless so certified by a Law Society in another jurisdiction. Alberta does not currently certify experts or specialists in areas of law, so any statement suggesting that a lawyer is so certified in Alberta is, in the words of the code, “misleading and improper”. A lawyer may, however, limit practice to certain areas of law, and give demonstrably true examples of experience and proficiency in those areas. The Code also forbids lawyers from:
- Suggesting that they are better than other lawyers practicing in the same areas of law
- Saying that they are aggressive
- Advertising dollar amounts of settlements without explaining that each claim is different, outcomes will vary, and past success is not indicative of future success
Choosing a lawyer, like choosing any service professional, can be difficult and confusing especially when you’re trying to sort through advertising to get to the truth. While the internet can be a helpful resource, consider asking friends and family for a referral. If you know a lawyer who is proficient in one area of the law, and need legal services they don’t provide, they may be able to recommend a different lawyer to you. Do your research, and make an informed decision.
At Litwiniuk & Company, we take all aspects of the Code very seriously, including the marketing restrictions. We want the public to have a positive impression of personal injury lawyers, and all lawyers in general, so we work hard to maintain a reputation of integrity and to have conduct above reproach; that’s why our business is built on word-of-mouth, not advertising. If you’ve been injured in an accident in Calgary or anywhere in Alberta, and you need a personal injury lawyer, give us a call and let us show you why we’ve been in business since 1976. It won’t cost you anything, and it will give you the opportunity to interview us, and decide for yourself if we are the right firm to help you.