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No change on lawyers’ specialty claims in Virginia

The Supreme Court of Virginia has stepped back from rule changes that would have prohibited lawyers from advertising their certifications as specialists in fields such as trial advocacy and elder law.

In the latest set of advertising rules published Monday, the court essentially leaves the current rules for promotion of specialty certifications unchanged. The new advertising rules take effect July 1.

Lawyers objected last fall when the court announced an end to claims of certification by specialty practice groups, including those representing trial advocates and elder law attorneys.

The National Elder Law Foundation urged the court to reconsider its proposed amendments in a Nov. 16 letter.

“We are pleased the Supreme Court is going to allow us business as usual,” said Jason W. Konvica, marketing partner at Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen in Richmond. Konvica and other lawyers at the firm advertise their certification by the National Board of Trial Advocacy.

The amendments announced Monday make no substantive changes in rules for the required disclaimer for any discussion of case results. Also largely unchanged is the requirement for an uppercase label on direct mail solicitation that reads: “ADVERTISING MATERIAL.”

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