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OBA Ethics Counsel

Ethics Opinion No. 74

Adopted December 26, 1935

The Board is in receipt of a communication from a member of the Bar enclosing a column clipped from a newspaper published in this state bearing the caption:

"When you need PROFESSIONAL SERVICES see these firms."

In the column appear the business cards of several members of the bar of the city in which the newspaper is published.

It is inquired as to whether or not the foregoing constitutes a violation of any rule of professional conduct.

In response:

It is improper for the members of the bar (a) to cause the insertion of the cards in the column or (b) to permit the continued publication of the cards after knowledge thereof. The first is expressly interdicted by rule 29 of the rules of professional conduct and the second is a clear violation of the spirit of the rule because a member cannot have done for him what he cannot do himself.

In advisory opinion No. 35, page 214 Ann. Rep. State Bar, 1932, the card published contained the words "Fair Treatment." The Board held:

"Rule 29 of the State Bar Rules of Professional Ethics provides that the solicitation of business by advertisement is unprofessional. The clipping can not be considered otherwise than the solicitation of business by advertisement. The use of the term "Fair Treatment" clearly distinguishes this advertisement from the usual professional card."