84-F-71 - Advertising in National Publications

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.
84-F-71 Page 2
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.