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OBA Ethics Counsel

Ethics Opinion No. 190

Adopted March 13, 1958

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

INQUIRY

An attorney appointed as City Attorney of a small community and paid a small salary is furnished an office in the City Hall. Under such conditions, is it permissible for him to conduct a general practice of law, and in so doing place a shingle bearing his name and profession above the door to his office which opens off the main lobby of the building?

OPINION

The salary paid to City Attorneys in small communities is ordinarily such that it necessarily contemplates that the City Attorney will simultaneously engage in private practice. If, for the convenience of the City and/or as additional emolument of his office, he is supplied with an office in the City Hall and if the City does not object, no question of ethics is involved in his conducting a general practice from such office. It follows that the placing of a sign inside the building, bearing his name, and indicating his profession and the location of his office, would not be improper. Such sign should, of course, be in keeping with the dignity of his profession and should in no way indicate any special qualifications.