Legal Ethics Opinion No. 1385

  Advertising and Solicitation--Specialty Practice: Noting Board
Certification in Tax Law By Florida Bar

You have informed the Committee that you are a member of the
Florida, Virginia, and District of Columbia Bars and that you are
recognized as a Board Certified Tax Lawyer by the Florida State
Bar, which status requires l50 CLE hours in tax every three
years.  You request the Committee's opinion as to the propriety
of your noting the fact of this certification on your Virginia
letterhead and business card.

The appropriate and controlling disciplinary rules relevant to
your inquiry are DR 2-l04(A), which holds, in pertinent part,
that "a lawyer shall not hold himself out publicly as...a
recognized or certified specialist except in accordance with...DR
2-l02..."; and DR 2-l02(A) which instructs, in pertinent part,
that "a lawyer or law firm may use or participate in the use of a
professional card...letterheads...or a similar professional
notice or device unless it includes a statement or claim that is
false, fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive."  In addition, the
Committee has earlier opined that it is not improper for an
attorney to designate on his letterhead the fact that he has been
certified as a Civil Trial Advocate by the National Board of
Trial Advocacy.  See LEO #456; see also LEOs #395, 923, 979.

The Committee is of the opinion that indications on your
letterhead and business card that you are a Board Certified Tax
Lawyer would not be improper provided that (l) such indications
are not false, fraudulent, misleading or deceptive; (2) such
status remains currently valid; and (3) all such indications
specify that the certification has been granted by the Bar of a
state other than Virginia.  See Peel v. Illinois Attorney
Registration and Disciplinary Commission, 58 U.S.L.W. 4684 (June
4, l990).

Committee Opinion
November 30, 1990