83-F-49 - Vacated*

*Vacated by the Board of Professional Responsibility on September 11, 2015 due to changes in the law or rules.

FORMAL ETHICS OPINION 83-F-49


Inquiry is made as to the propriety of producing and distributing a law firm
brochure to regular clients and/or to prospective clients upon request.


The proposed brochure contains a short history of the law firm and a biographical sketch
of each member and associate accompanied by a small photograph of each attorney. The
brochure states that the firm has a diversified general practice including general litigation,
products liability law; defense of medical, dental, accountants, architects and engineers
malpractice and other professional negligence actions; worker's compensation law;
construction law and suretyship; probate law; criminal law; corporate; commercial; real
estate; and patent, copyright and trademark law. The address of the firm is stated. The
brochure provides that a list of representative clients and a schedule of fees will be
furnished upon request. The brochure is prepared for and furnished only to the firm's
regular clients or prospective clients who may request a copy.
Tennessee Formal Ethics Opinion 81-F-14, issued on August 26, 1981, held that the
production and dissemination of such a proposed manual was not permissible at that time.
On March 9, 1983, the publicity rules of the Code of Professional Responsibility were
amended by the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Disciplinary Rule 2-102(A) of the Code provides:
DR 2-102 PROFESSIONAL NOTICES,
LETTERHEADS and OFFICES.
(A) A lawyer shall not use a firm name, letterhead or
other professional designation that violates DR 2-
101 or DR 2-105.
Thus, professional notices such as the brochure proposed herein must comply with the
publicity and advertising rules of the Code.
Disciplinary Rule 2-101(C) of the Code provides:
(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
83-F-49 Page 2
the following precise wording:
LISTING OF THE ABOVE LEGAL SERVICES
OR SPECIFIC AREAS OF PRACTICE DOES
NOT INDICATE ANY CERTIFICATION OR
EXPERTISE THEREIN.
Disciplinary Rule 2-101(M) of the Code provides:
(M) Lawyers may advertise in established and regularly
published print media and over established
electronic media. Handbills, circulars, direct mail,
or the like may be used, but only if the contents
comply with all requirements that pertain to the
print media, and if the persons who deliver the
handbills, circulars, direct mail and the like are not
the lawyer or associates or members of the law firm
advertised, and do not engage in solicitation.
There is no impropriety of producing and distributing a law firm brochure to regular
clients and/or to prospective clients upon request provided the requirements of DR 2-
101(C) and DR 2-101(M) are strictly followed.
This 14th day of July , 1983.
ETHICS COMMITTEE:
Edwin C. Townsend
W. J. Flippin
Henry H. Hancock
APPROVED AND ADOPTED BY THE BOARD