God forbid that you as a lawyer call yourself an expert, and you sure as heck better make sure that no directory or ratings service would classify you as that. That was beat into our heads in law school more than rule of perpetuity.
It’s just too darn dangerous Joe to have some poor soul reach the conclusion that one lawyer has more expertise in a niche than another lawyer. We’re not talking surgeons here. We’re talking lawyers. It’s just too risky.
You could play this out on Saturday Night Live and not change a thing. Viewers would think it was funny as hell. If they found out the truth – that we kowtowed to state bar associations saying we cannot advertise about our expertise, experience or the regard in which others hold us, they would think we were idiots.
Good to hear via a post from Connecticut civil rights and criminal defense lawyer Norm Pattis that lawyers may not have to ‘roll over and play road kill’ when, as Norm calls them, the ‘geriatric souls’ at the bar associations come rattling their swords about you referencing your expertise and experience.
I am heartened by an 11th Circuit decision I learned of only yesterday while attending a presentation on regulation of lawyers. The lawyer who litigated the case was told that he could not list the following in his ads: ”AV’ Rated, the Highest Rating Martindale-Hubbell National Law Directory.’