June 1985

Question Presented

May an attorney, in addition to the usual biographical information, list in Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory up to three fields of law to which the attorney devotes considerable time?


Canon 2 provides that a lawyer should assist the legal profession in fulfilling its duty to make legal counsel available. Providing information as to the fields of law in which a lawyer devotes considerable time is certainly an aid in fulfilling the duty to make legal counsel available. Even under DR 2-102, which was amended in 1982 by the advertising rules, it was permissible to have "a listing in a reputable law list or legal directory giving brief biographical and other information data . . . . The publicized data may include only the following: . . . one or more fields of law in which the lawyer or law firm concentrates; the statement that practice is limited to one or more fields of law . . . ." The advertising rules which became effective Sept. 1, 1982, provide in DR 2-104(3) "a lawyer available to practice in a particular area of law or legal service may distribute to other lawyers and publish in legal directories a dignified announcement of such availability, but the announcement shall not contain a representation of special competence or expertise." DR 2-104(3) is an exception to the disclaimer concerning board certification. Therefore, such listing may be made without disclaimer.


A lawyer may list in Martindale-Hubbell fields of law to which the lawyer devotes considerable time, whether or not the lawyer is board certified in said field or fields, and no disclaimer as to certification by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization is required. (9-0)