84-F-71 - Advertising in National Publications

 

BOARD OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE

FORMAL ETHICS OPINION 84-F-71


Inquiry is made as to the ethical obligation of an attorney, licensed only in Tennessee, to include the disclaimer provided for in DR 2-101(C) of the Code when advertising in national publications for legal services to be performed in interstate commerce.

The regulation of the practice of law is accomplished by the respective states. See Ethical Consideration 3-9. The Code of Professional Responsibility in effect in Tennessee is the controlling authority on the ethical conduct of attorneys solely licensed in Tennessee.

The Code of Professional Responsibility in effect in Tennessee contains the following:

(C) If a lawyer publishes or broadcasts a communication that contains any listing of legal services for specific areas of practice, the communication must include the following
precise wording:

LISTING OF THE ABOVE LEGAL SERVICES OR SPECIFIC AREAS OF PRACTICE DOES NOT INDICATE ANY CERTIFICATION OF EXPERTISE THEREIN.

Therefore, an attorney licensed only in Tennessee is required to include the disclaimer provided for in DR 2-101(C) when advertising in national publications for legal services to be performed in interstate commerce.1

The attorney inquires about specific hypothetical instances of being licensed in other states or affiliated with attorneys licensed in other states. The ethics opinions are only intended to apply to actual factual instances and hypothetical matters will not be addressed in this opinion.

This 29th day of May, 1984.

ETHICS COMMITTEE:

Henry H. Hancock
W. J. Flippin
Edwin C. Townsend

APPROVED AND ADOPTED BY THE BOARD

 

1DR 2-101(D) provides that applications to expand the advertising rule may be filed with the Board, Tennessee Bar Association and local bar associations for a hearing on the issue of whether the expansion of the rule will facilitate the process of informed selection of lawyers by potential consumers of legal services.