OBA Ethics Counsel
Ethics Opinion No. 224
Adopted April 16, 1964
In 1963 a question concerning the propriety of attorneys' permitting their names with biographical data (necessarily including professional status and accomplishments) to be included in a "Who's Who" type directory arose. The information submitted indicated that the attorney would not pay for the listing but was required to purchase a copy of the publication.
While it might appear that if the price of the subscription was commensurate with the retail price of such a publication the subscription would not be an improper prerequisite, it is also apparent that this not only puts a doubt on the integrity of the compilers, but also puts an intolerable burden on the member of the Bar to decide whether or not the purchase price of the volume is its fair retail price. Accordingly, it is felt that the safer and proper course is that members of the Bar may not submit biographic data for publication in any "Who's Who" type of publication if they must pay a fee therefor or if as a prerequisite to such publication they must subscribe to the purchase of the completed volume. Obviously, voluntary agreement by an attorney to purchase the volume is proper provided the purchase price is commensurate with the retail value of the volume. As is true in many ethical problems, good taste is the test.