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OBA Ethics Counsel

Ethics Opinion No. 147

Adopted June 14, 1950

QUERY

Is it proper for a practicing attorney to also conduct an insurance agency?

ANSWER

It is the opinion of the committee that the conducting of an insurance business by a practicing attorney violates no rule or principle of legal ethics provided care is exercised to keep the two lines of business separate and apart so that neither business will be used as a means of procuring business for the other. It is pointed out by the committee that the same conclusion was reached in Opinion No. 48, Page 96, Advisory Opinions of the State Bar of Oklahoma, wherein it was stated:

"The writing of fire insurance by a lawyer while in the active practice, is not, in the opinion of the Board, condemned by any accepted standard in this country, provided it is done with due observance of the standard of conduct required of him as a member of the bar; and provided that he not use the business; nor the fact that he is a member of the bar to obtain insurance business."

The committee is of the further opinion that the attorney should not advertise himself as an attorney in connection with any of the advertising of his insurance agency and the advertising should be in such form as to avoid the implication that it is a solicitation of employment as a lawyer.