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OBA Ethics Counsel

Ethics Opinion No. 146

Adopted June 14, 1950

THE FACTS

An attorney engaged in the general practice of law and specializing in the investigation and adjustment of casualty claims for insurance companies, which latter undertaking occupies a major portion of his time, proposes to advertise his services as an adjuster by the medium of a pamphlet sent to the different insurance companies. This lawyer desires to know whether advertising his services as an adjuster would violate the Canons of Legal Ethics.

QUERY

Would this practicing attorney advertising his services as an adjuster, under the above stated circumstances, violate the Canons of Legal Ethics?

ANSWER

It is the majority opinion of the Committee that the proposed advertising would not be proper. Since the two occupations are so closely associated and affiliated that the solicitation of business as an adjuster may readily become the means of solicitation of business for the lawyer, the profession would be subject to criticism for unprofessional conduct. He should in his adjustment business be subject to the same restrictions as to advertising as is an attorney. The committee points out that Opinion No. 31, Vol. I, p. 66, Advisory Opinions of the State Bar of Oklahoma, reaches the same conclusion.