Ethics Counsel on www.OKbar.org

OBA Ethics Counsel

Ethics Opinion No. 158

Adopted October 8, 1952

QUERY

Two members of the Oklahoma Bar Association have made inquiry as to the ethics of using campaign cards which read in part as follows:

RICHARD ROE

Attorney at Law

Democratic Candidate for CONGRESS

1st Congressional District

............

A LAWYER FOR A LAW-MAKER'S JOB

RICHARD ROE

Republican for State Representative

LAWYER---HOME OWNER---NATIVE SON---AGE 36.

GOVERNMENT and LAW were his MAJOR COLLEGE STUDIES.

He attends regularly the committee hearings of the Oklahoma Legislative Council, where important Legislation is being considered by members of the next Oklahoma Legislature.

VOTE for the QUALIFIED CANDIDATE

OPINION

The presumption is that attorneys who run for public office are actually seeking said office and are not campaigning merely to advertise themselves as lawyers, therefore the designation on campaign cards is for the purpose of making known his qualifications for the office sought. Under our form of Government candidates must seek the office, and not the office the candidate, and there is nothing unethical in a candidate setting forth his qualifications, one of which is that he is trained in the law. The card should at all times be presented in a dignified and wholesome manner as befits a lawyer and a gentleman. We feel that the above cards have done so.

Perhaps the first card would be in better taste had the designation of "Attorney at Law" been given a less prominent position and placed after the office sought rather than immediately following the name.