OBA Ethics Counsel
Ethics Opinion No. 218
Adopted June 14, 1962
An Attorney has established new offices and in addition to notification of this move, he also extends invitations to numerous people (members of the Bar, clients, friends) to an "open house" at his new law offices. Are the invitations to the "open house" permissible?
Advisory Opinion No. 195, dated May 5, 1958, permits an attorney to announce the opening of new offices by mail to members of the local Bar, personal friends, clients, and lawyers outside the local Bar but with whom personal contacts have been made. "A truthful, dignified, and appropriate announcement" is authorized; however, this language cannot be expanded to include invitations for an "open house."
The announcement should state only the facts involved, i. e., opening the new office, address, and telephone number. This attempt to couple an "open house" with the announcement of a new office location is patently unnecessary to inform the recipients that a move has been completed. This constitutes personal publicity and, in effect, is a subterfuge for indirect advertising and thus violates the tenor of Canon 27.