OPINION 25
April 1950

SOLICITATION—ADVERTISING—PROFESSSIONAL LISTING—NEWSPAPERS—Professional listings in a newspaper under a regular column headed "Legal Directory" are proper. However, the listings in question, placed in the classified ad section of a newspaper headed "Business Service Directory," are improper.

Canon 39.

Question

Is the listing by certain attorneys of their names, addresses, and telephone numbers, under the subtitle "D 6 A Attorneys" in that portion of the classified ad section of a newspaper which is headed "Business Service Directory" a violation of the Canons of Ethics?

Opinion

The committee, as a whole, recognizes the importance of the question submitted, and has given the matter serious study and consideration. Closely related questions have been the subject matter of opinions by the Texas Committee on Interpretation of Canons of Ethics, (See Opinions 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, and 14), and also of numerous opinions by the companion Committee of the American Bar Association. (See in particular Opinion No. 69, and dissent). Because of the frequency with which such questions arise, and the diversity of opinion in regard thereto, this committee feels that the subject could well be considered by the State Bar of Texas as a whole, where formal action could be taken.

The above question was submitted by the president of the Bar Association of a particular county, who submitted the page taken from the newspaper in question. Some members of the committee are of the opinion that the correct answer to the question depends upon local conditions, customs, and practices, and should be determined as a local matter by the particular bar in question.

The majority of the committee is of the opinion that it violates Canon 39, which deals with the subject of Professional Card. Some members are of the opinion that it also violates Canon  24, which deals with the subject of Solicitation, Direct or Indirect. The majority feels that the listing in a newspaper under a regular column headed "Legal Directory" represents the extreme limit to which such an ad should be approved, and that the particular ad in question exceeds the permissible limit. (6-3)