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RPC 43

July 15, 1988

Advertisement of Board Certification of Specialty

 

Opinion rules that an attorney who has been certified as a specialist by the Board of Legal Specialization may so indicate in an advertisement in any way that is not false, deceptive or misleading.

 

Inquiry:

 

Attorney A has been certified as a legal specialist in bankruptcy law by the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. The Board's standards list various official designations which board certified specialists may use in advertising. May Attorney A use any variation of these official designations?

 

Opinion:

 

Yes. So long as the variations are not false, misleading or deceptive, use of such variations does not violate the Rules of Professional Conduct. The United States Supreme Court held that use of nonmisleading variations of official designations for specialists is protected by the First Amendment in In re RMJ, 455 U.S. 191, 205 (1981).

 

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