To The Editor:
Recently, my partner decided to create a web site. He listed me as a trial lawyer, but received criticism from the bar, because according to the recently established audit committee, although it is an accurate statement that my practice is devoted 100 percent to litigation, to state this fact suggests an expertise in the area that I am not permitted to claim since I am not board certified.
I’m in my 38th year of practice, and have done nothing but civil litigation. I have tried hundreds of cases. I pride myself as having helped to shape the law on a number of issues through my work as a trial attorney. Yet the bar [specifically, the Statewide Grievance Committee] says that I cannot be held out to the public as someone who devotes 100 percent of my practice to trial work.
Last year, I tried a case representing a client in a substantial fee dispute with a large law firm. The attorney who had represented the client was listed by the large firm as practicing in the area of “commercial litigation.” He had been practicing for over 20 years.
During my examination of this attorney, it not only became apparent that he had never tried a case, but he had little understanding of commercial litigation. I haven’t been active in regard to helping to make the Rules of Professional Responsibility, but I would hope that those who do would concentrate on substance over form.
Richard P. Weinstein