End-of-life notice: American Legal Ethics Library
As of March 1, 2013, the Legal Information Institute is no longer maintaining the information in the American Legal Ethics Library. It is no longer possible for us to maintain it at a level of completeness and accuracy given its staffing needs. It is very possible that we will revive it at a future time. At this point, it is in need of a complete technological renovation and reworking of the "correspondent firm" model which successfully sustained it for many years.
Many people have contributed time and effort to the project over the years, and we would like to thank them. In particular, Roger Cramton and Peter Martin not only conceived ALEL but gave much of their own labor to it. We are also grateful to Brad Wendel for his editorial contributions, to Brian Toohey and all at Jones Day for their efforts, and to all of our correspondents and contributors. Thank you.
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Colorado Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct
Comment - Rule 7.4
 This Rule permits a lawyer to indicate areas of practice in communications about the lawyer's services, for example, in a telephone directory or other advertising. If the lawyer practices only in certain fields, or will not accept matters except in such fields, the lawyer is permitted to so indicate.
 Recognition and specialization in patent matters is a matter of long established policy of the Patent and Trademark Office. Designation of admiralty practice has a long historical tradition associated with maritime commerce and federal courts.
 In some instances, a lawyer confines his or her practice to a particular field of law. A lawyer may indicate in permitted advertising, if it is factual, a limitation of the practice in one or more particular areas or fields of law in which the lawyer practices.
 The legal profession has developed referral systems designed to aid individuals who are able to pay fees but need assistance in locating lawyers competent to handle their particular problems. Use of the lawyer referral system enables a lay person to avoid an uninformed selection of a lawyer because such a system makes possible the employment of competent lawyers who have indicated an interest in the subject matter involved.
 Rule 7.4 requires disclosures when attorneys claim to be certified in a particular area of law. This Rule recognizes the fact that Colorado does not certify lawyers in any field of practice and seeks to protect the public from the impression that a lawyer's claimed expertise signifies the lawyer has proven such claimed expertise through any type of Colorado certification process. It should additionally be noted that the Rule requires compliance with Rule 7.1, and thereby Rule 1.1, in reference to a lawyer's claim of expertise or limitation of practice to particular fields of law. Therefore, a lawyer is prohibited from claiming expertise or emphasis in a field of law unless the lawyer has or develops the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for representation of clients in that field of law.
 A claim of certification contained in a lawyer's letterhead does not require the disclaimer in rule 7.4(f) unless the letterhead is used in an advertisement.
 Amended and Adopted by the Court, En Banc, June 12, 1997, effective January 1, 1998, except 7.4(g) which is effective July 1, 1997.