Current with amendments received through 6/30/99


A lawyer may communicate the fact that the lawyer does or does not practice in particular fields of law. A lawyer who concentrates in, limits his or her practice to, or wishes to announce a willingness to accept cases in a particular field may so advertise or publicly state in any manner otherwise permitted by these Rules. Any such advertisement or statement shall be strictly factual and shall not contain any form of the words "certified", "specialist", "expert", or "authority." A lawyer shall not state or imply that the lawyer is a specialist except as follows:

(1) A lawyer admitted to engage in patent practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office may use the designation "Patent Attorney" or a substantially similar designation; and

(2) A lawyer certified by an appropriate governmental agency in admiralty practice may use the designation "Admiralty", "Proctor in Admiralty", or a substantially similar designation.

(3) A lawyer may communicate the fact that he or she has achieved a national certificate by an organization qualifying under Peel v. Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of Illinois , 110 S.Ct. 2281 (1990), by clearly identifying the certification and the organization that has conferred the distinction, and such communication may occur only for so long as the lawyer remains so certified and in good standing with the organization.

 Adopted by Order 92-1, eff. 8-1-92


Supreme Court


[1] This Rule permits a lawyer to indicate areas of practice in communications about the lawyer's services, for example, in a telephone directory or other advertising. If a lawyer practices only in certain fields, or will not accept matters except in such fields, the lawyer is permitted so to indicate. However, stating that the lawyer is a "specialist" or that the lawyer's practice "is limited to" or "concentrated in" particular fields is not permitted. These terms have acquired a secondary meaning implying formal recognition as a specialist. Hence, use of these terms may be misleading unless the lawyer is certified or recognized in accordance with procedures in the state where the lawyer is licensed to practice.

[2] Recognition of specialization in patent matters is a matter of long- established policy of the Patent and Trademark Office. Designation of admiralty practice has a long historical tradition associated with maritime commerce and the federal courts. (Commentary from former SCR 3.130(7.4).)

Ethics Opinions At This Website Citing This Rule

No opinions concerning this rule appear on this website at this time.