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OBA Ethics Counsel

Ethics Opinion No. 194

Adopted February 10, 1958

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

INQUIRY

An attorney has sought the opinion of the Committee in connection with his intention to file and campaign for political office and asks the following questions in connection therewith:

1. Is it permissible on campaign literature to make mention of the fact that he is a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association?

2. Is it permissible to refer to offices held in various veteran's organizations, which offices indicate legal training or ability, such as Judge Advocate of the Veterans of Foreign Wars?

OPINION

It is the opinion of the Committee that, as in all questions of legal ethics, the good faith and good taste of the lawyer are involved. The entry in a campaign for the simple purpose of advertising one's self as a lawyer would. of course, be a reprehensible practice. Presuming that attorneys who run for public office are actually seeking said office and the designation of their profession on campaign cards is for the purpose of making known their qualifications for the office sought, and presuming, further, that the office sought is one in which his legal training adds to his qualifications to fill the office, it is proper to indicate his profession on a campaign card or literature. In the same manner, we are of the opinion that it would be proper for him to indicate membership in professional societies or associations and offices in civic organizations, even though the latter may indicate some qualification as an attorney. In answer to the specific questions, the answer to both is that the use of such information is permissible. The Committee would like to emphasize, however, that the card or literature should at all times be presented in a dignified and wholesome manner as befits a lawyer and a gentleman. (See Advisory Opinion No. 158 of this Committee, dated October 8, 1952. Also see page 248 of Drinker on Legal Ethics.)