SOLICITATIONADVERTISING A TITLE INSURANCE BUSINESS. A practicing lawyer, X, who is also local agent of a title insurance company may not distribute to real estate agents printed forms of an earnest money contract having printed on it that legend that it is furnished by the title insurance company and that X is its agent.
Joe Blow, a duly licensed and practicing attorney, is an agent for the Good Deal Title Insurance Company, writing policies of title insurance in the town where he maintains his law offices. As a means of advertising his title insurance business, Joe decides to print and distribute to various real estate agents forms of Earnest Money Contract, with the following appearing in the upper right hand corner of the contract:
"This form is furnished by courtesy of Good Deal Title Insurance Company, Joe Blow, Agent, Slippery Rock, Texas. Telephone PL 0-0000. Anyone desiring to use it should consult his attorney."
Since the above does not reflect that Joe Blow is an attorney, does the distribution and use of these forms constitute a violation of the Canons of Ethics with respect to advertising by an attorney?
Yes, Canon 24 is violated; see Opinion 62, 79, 134 and 221. Opinion 91, 114 and 119 can be distinguished on the ground that they pertain to businesses not so directly and generally identified with legal work as is the title insurance business. Also cf. Opinion 196. (9-0.)