Advisory Opinion: 2139

Year Issued: 2006

RPC(s): RPC 7.1, 8.4(c)

Subject: Attorney Advertisement


The inquirer submitted an advertisement containing a discount offer for legal services that he proposed to disseminate. He requested the committee review the ad for ethical content.

The committee responded that there is nothing inherently unethical about offering a discount coupon for legal services as long as the discount is honored according to its terms. See RPC 8.4(c). In order to avoid misleading prospective clients as to the attorney’s ability to honor a coupon, the coupon should include a disclaimer to the effect that it is subject to the attorney’s compliance with the Rules of Professional Conduct (e.g., compliance with conflict checks).

The committee does not as a matter of policy pass on the content of particular ads. The committee points out, however, that under RPC 7.1, a lawyer shall not make a false or misleading communication about the lawyer’s services. Even truthful statements are prohibited if they are misleading. RPC 7.1, Comment [2] states “a truthful statement is misleading if it omits a fact necessary to make the lawyer’s communication considered as a whole not misleading.”

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Advisory Opinions are provided for the education of the Bar and reflect the opinion of the Committee on Professional Ethics (CPE) or its predecessors. Advisory Opinions are provided pursuant to the authorization granted by the Board of Governors, but are not individually approved by the Board and do not reflect the official position of the Bar association. Laws other than the Washington State Rules of Professional Conduct may apply to the inquiry. The Committee's answer does not include or opine about any other applicable law other than the meaning of the Rules of Professional Conduct.