OPINION 112
February 1955

NOTICE OF SPECIALIZED LEGAL SERVICE - ANNOUNCEMENTS - Since administrative and labor law are not recognized specialties, an announcement to the effect that an attorney is specializing in those fields is improper especially when it does not appear that the attorney will render his service directly and only to other attorneys.

Canon 42.

Question

Would it violate the Canons of Ethics for an attorney to use the following announcement:

JOHN DOE announces his return to the practice of law specializing in administrative and labor law and his association with ROE AND ROE
Blank Building
Boston, Mass.
Under the Southwestern firm name of DOE, ROE and ROE
JOHN DOE
Permanent Resident Partner
Smith Building
Blank, Texas

Opinion

It is assumed that the above-quoted announcement would not be inserted in newspapers, or other similar publications, and would be mailed only to other attorneys and friends.  The committee is of the opinion that this announcement would violate the Canons of Ethics since Canon 42 permits such an announcement only where a member is engaged in rendering a "specialized legal service directly and only to other members."  We are of the opinion that administrative and labor law are not specialized legal services within the meaning of Canon 42, and that, furthermore, the announcement shows that the attorneys named therein will not render their services "directly and only to other members."  One member of the committee is of the opinion that administrative labor law should be regarded as specialized legal services within the meaning of Canon 42, but that the announcement would violate Canon 39 because it contains self laudatory statements and includes in the firm name persons who are not members of the State Bar of Texas.  (7-1)