LEO: Advertising - Solicitation  LE Op. 1001


Advertising - Solicitation.


November 24, 1987


You advise that you were employed to represent a client on a charge of

driving under the influence in August of this year. In October your client

received a solicitation letter and a business card from another attorney

in the mail. The solicitation sent to your client advised your client the

attorney worked primarily with DUI's, traffic infractions and criminal

offenses. The letter also stated that the attorney does not charge for

initial consultation and the attorney's fees are substantially lower than

the normal rates of the community. The letter further stated that if your

client had already retained counsel or been appointed counsel to disregard

the letter. You state that when you spoke with the attorney, she said she

obtained your client's name from public records. You state that if your

client's name was obtained from public records, the attorney should have

known your client was represented by counsel, since your name appeared on

the warrant.


You wish to know whether the attorney's solicitation of your client's

business was proper.


A very similar inquiry was addressed by LE Op. 862. In that situation

the solicitation letter also was sent to all persons recently charged with

any criminal offense and stated that the soliciting attorney works "

primarily with DUI's, traffic infractions and criminal offenses." The

Committee opined and reiterates here that that statement was not a per se

statement of some limited expertise. The Committee felt it was without

facts to enable it to opine as to whether or not the soliciting attorney

had made a "false, fraudulent, misleading or deceptive statement or claim"

as prohibited by DR:2-101.


As in your inquiry, the solicitation letter in LE Op. 862 also stated "

I am sure you will find that my fees are substantially lower than the

normal rates of this community." The Committee opined, and does so here,

that the statement is improper and noted that only factual assertions

should be made in advertisements and personal communications.


The Committee believes that LE Op. 862 is dispositive of your inquiry.


Committee Opinion November 24, 1987