LEO: Advertising - Prepaid Legal Services  LE Op. 1164


Advertising - Prepaid Legal Services Plan: Law Firm's



January 26, 1989


You have asked the Committee to consider the propriety of your firm being

among the other law firms in your area recommended to members of a prepaid

legal service plan. You have recently received a letter and brochure from

a prepaid legal services plan whose members may use the attorney of their

choice or may choose one of the attorneys or law firms on a list

recommended by the prepaid legal services plan. The company is requesting

permission to advertise your firm and area of practice to their members.


The Committee previously opined in LE Op. 1029 that the proposed

advertising relating to a legal corporation which will serve as a private

lawyer referral service was not in violation of the Code of Professional

Responsibility, provided that it conformed to the standards of DR:2-101

or DR:2-103 as appropriate, pursuant to DR:2-103(D). The Committee has

reviewed the brochure and believes that as long as the material enclosed

in the brochure is neither deceptive or misleading nor presents any false

statement or claim, including, but not limited to, any implication that a

lawyer or law firm recommended by the company is a recognized or certified

specialist unless the lawyer or the law firm's practice is primarily in

the area of patents and trademarks or admiralty, pursuant to DR:2-104(A)(

1). The Committee would also direct your attention to LE Op. 467 in

which the committee opined that it was ethically proper for an attorney to

participate with a private referral service provided the attorney

exercises his independent, professional judgment solely in the best

interest of the client. (See EC:2-17 and EC:2-18)


The Committee opines that your affiliation with the prepaid legal

services plan for the purpose of its referring some of the plan members of

your office for employment is not in violation of the disciplinary rules

or ethical considerations governing the advertisement or marketing of such

service based on the facts presented in your inquiry.


Committee Opinion January 26, 1989