Is it proper for a lawyer to publish an announcement in a legal journal that he is a specialist in matters pertaining to a particular governmental agency such as Labor Relations Board, State Liquor Authority or Workmen’s Compensation Board, but limiting his offer of services to other lawyers only?
Disciplinary Rule 2-105(A) (3) provides that:
“(A) A lawyer shall not hold himself out publicly as a specialist or as limiting his practice, except as permit led under DR 2 l02(A)(6) or as follows:
(3) A Lawyer available to act as a consultant, to or as an associate of other lawyers in a particular branch of law or legal service may distribute to ether lawyers and publish in legal journals a dignified announcement of such availability, but the announcement, shall not contain a representation of special competence or experience. The announcement shall not be distributed to lawyers more frequently than once in a calendar year, but it may be published periodically in legal journals.”
The Disciplinary Rule sanctions the publication to the profession of a notice that a lawyer is available to assist other lawyers, not only in a particular branch of law, but also to render a particular legal service, even though not a specialty which could be noticed generally. N.Y. City 877 (1971); see under Former Canon 46: N.Y. County 561 (1968), 537 (1964); N.Y. State 86 (1968). Such areas of practice as those involving proceedings before or in connection with actions taken by governmental agencies or authorities constitute a particular legal service, available to other lawyers only, within the meaning of the above Disciplinary Rule, Compare ABA 194 (1939).
The use of the word “Specialist” or the offer cf “Specialized legal services” when restricted to the “bar only” does not in itself constitute a representation of special competence or experience within the meaning of DR 2-105(A) (3) and does not contravene the Disciplinary Rules.
It is to be noted that the announcement must be a dignified one, and may not. contain self-laudatory comment. If it is published in a legal journal which also is read by laymen, it is particularly important that the announcement be a brief, modest one, and that it in no way create an appearance of solicitation of business from the general public.
In N.Y. City 877 (1971) attention was called to a special section in the New York Law Journal devoted to announcements of specialized services available to lawyers, and that Committee, in an opinion with which we agree, stated:
“The New York Law Journal has a special section (“Lawyers’ Service Mart) devoted to announcements of specialized services available to lawyers. The announcements published in this section are usual1y in the format of classified advertisements such as one might find in any newspaper’s classified advertisement section, and do not for the most part contain bold typographical displays.
“We are of the opinion that in order to comply with the standard of dignity specified in DR 2”105(A)(3), announcements of availability countenanced under that section and published in the New York Law Journal should be placed in the Lawyers Service Mart section and set. forth in a modest typographical format.”
January 10, 1974.