When is an Expert not an “Expert”?

There is a persistent and widely-held belief that it is unethical for a Colorado lawyer to call him/herself an expert, even if s/he is one. Take, for example, John Moye and Cathy Krendl. No Colorado lawyer would seriously contend that John and Cathy are not experts in the field of corporate law. Each has taught the subject at well-regarded law schools and countless CLEs, written treatises on the subject, practiced in the field for decades, been involved in the development of the Colorado Corporation Code, and been frequently qualified as an expert witness in corporate law. Both are widely recognized by their peers as among the very best in their field. If John and Cathy are not “experts” in corporate law, no one is. Yet – and reserving for later the pragmatic question of whether they ought to – conventional ethical wisdom is that were either to actually hold him/herself out as an “expert” in corporate law s/he would burn in hell for eternity – or, worse, be summoned before the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel and consigned to diversion and Ethics School. 

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