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OBA Ethics Counsel

Ethics Opinion No. 186

Adopted June 12, 1957

The Central Committee of the Oklahoma Bar Association has submitted to its Legal Ethics Committee the following inquiry:

INQUIRY

May an attorney, engaged in the general practice of law in a city not the capitol of the state, carry with propriety on his letterhead, following statements of his office addresses and telephone numbers, a direct reference to the fact that he is also "counsel" for one of the top-ranking officials of the state government?

OPINION

It is the opinion of the Committee that he may not with propriety do so. Previous opinions of this Committee, as well as applicable canons of legal ethics, indicate such a statement must be viewed as intended to convey the idea or ideas that especial attention should be drawn to the particular lawyer because of the fact he has been chosen as personal counsel to a high-ranking official and this indicates he possesses particular qualifications, either political or legal, and to this extent is a form of advertising. Aside from the exact question of ethics, it also is the view of the Committee that the use of the statement referred to is in extremely bad taste.