Ethics Opinions
Iowa Supreme Court Board of Professional Ethics and Conduct

Date of Opinion: 03/08/2005

Opinion Number: 05-04


Opinion: You ask whether you may run an advertisement consisting of the word “Experience” in large letters, with your name and office information in small letters. The Board would interpret this as an advertisement that you are an experienced attorney.

DR 2-101(A) prohibits advertisements which are unverifiable, rely on emotional appeal or contain any claim relating to quality of the lawyer’s legal services.

In its Formal Opinion 85-170, the Pennsylvania Bar held that subjective terms such as “experienced” are inherently misleading and are not permitted in lawyer advertising, since descriptive information must be objective and verifiable. This Board, too, believes that an advertisement stating that the lawyer is experienced would violate DR 2-101(A).

Since the Board’s task under Court Rule 34.20 is only to opine as to propriety under the Code of Professional Responsibility, it expresses no opinion on the impact of the First Amendment on this matter.