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OBA Ethics Counsel

Ethics Opinion No. 97

Adopted December 26, 1935

The Board is in receipt of the following inquiry:

"Rule 45 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, as amended to become effective July 1, 1936 provides:

'A publication which guarantees to its users the fidelity of its listees through bond, guaranty, or any other similar means is not a reputable law directory or reputable law list.'

The rule also provides:

'A lawyer who places his name or card in a publication which he knows is not a reputable law directory or reputable law list is guilty of unprofessional conduct.'

In compliance with the rule I have refused to continue my subscription to a list which comes within the interdiction of the rule and of the holding in advisory opinion No. 94.

The list now makes me the proposition that it proposes to continue the bonding of its listees in states other than Oklahoma and that it will carry its Oklahoma lawyer listees in a separate section of its list, with the annotation that, in accordance with the rules of the State Bar of Oklahoma, the fidelity of the Oklahoma listees is not bonded, etc.

Query:

Is it proper for a member of the State Bar of Oklahoma to cause or permit his name to be listed in a list which guarantees the fidelity of its listees, other than those in Oklahoma, through bond, etc., the Oklahoma listees appearing in a separate section of the list with the annotation aforesaid?"

In response:

It is not. The list, guaranteeing to its users the fidelity of any of its listees through bond, guaranty, or any other similar means is not a reputable list.

The rules interdict the placing of a name of a member of the State Bar of Oklahoma in a publication which he knows is not a reputable list.