LEO: Advertisement and Solicitation: Use of  LE Op. 1231


Advertisement and Solicitation: Use of the Word "Specializes" in



May 2, 1989


You have asked the Committee to consider whether a proposed advertisement

which an attorney intends to place in the Virginia State Trooper Magazine

is in violation of any of the Disciplinary Rules or Ethical Considerations

of the Code of Professional Responsibility.


The opinion of the Committee assumes that the factual allegations are

accurate and that the attorney's practice is limited to the area stated.

Given that, and pursuant to DR:2-101 and DR:2-103, the information

concerning the attorney's former employment as a police officer from one

of the larger metropolitan areas in the southeastern United State s as well

as the specific areas of personal injury and workers' compensation cannot

be construed to be a false, fraudulent, misleading or deceptive statement

or claim.


By a split decision, the Committee previously opined in LE Op. 923 that

it was not per se unethical for an attorney to advertise that he

specializes in a certain area of law as long as the advertisement did not

state that the attorney was a recognized or certified specialist. (See

also LE Op. 979)


While the word "specializes" alone does not imply a recognized specialist

designation, the Committee believes that a more appropriate and less

misleading choice of words would be "areas of practice are limited to the

representation of state, county and municipal law enforcement officers and

deputy sheriffs."


Committee Opinion May 2, 1989




See also LE Op. 1406.