OBA Ethics Counsel
Ethics Opinion No. 158
Adopted October 8, 1952
Two members of the Oklahoma Bar Association have made inquiry as to the ethics of using campaign cards which read in part as follows:
Attorney at Law
Democratic Candidate for CONGRESS
1st Congressional District
A LAWYER FOR A LAW-MAKER'S JOB
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
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.