State Bar of South Dakota

Ethics Opinion 92-2

February 12, 1992

FACTS

You state that you currently advertise your services in two newspapers. You inquire as follows: Is it acceptable to put in my advertisement that I accept Mastercard/Visa?

OPINION

Committee Member, Professor John F. Hagemann writes that there are 35 ethics committees which have addressed the question of acceptance of credit cards in payment of fees. He further writes that 34 of them have determined that the practice is acceptable within certain limitations. He finds that only Missouri prohibits the practice. Missouri’s rational appears to be that the credit card payment amounts to fee splitting with a lay agency.

It appears that Rule 7.2 permits the very discrete advertisement of cost and fee payment by credit card. The only caveat which appears currently applicable is that all statements in the advertisement must be truthful and correct.

Michael S. McKnight
Chair, Ethics Committee