March 1953

PROFESSIONAL CARDS— NOTICE OF SPECIALIZED LEGAL SERVICE—LEGAL DIRECTORIES—NEWSPAPER SOLICITATION—An attorney may insert "tax service" in a professional card in a Legal Directory, but professional cards may not be published in a newspaper. (This opinion overrules Opinions 7 and 29 to the extent they conflict herewith.)

Canons 6, 2439, 42.


Is it a violation of the Canons of Ethics for an attorney who handles tax matters to insert a card, giving his name, address, telephone number, and adding the words "Tax Service" therein, in the professional directory of a newspaper?

Before stating the opinion of the present committee on the above question, it is deemed advisable to briefly review the history of this matter.

In two prior opinions, No. 7 released in 1947 and No. 29 released in 1950, the Texas Committee on the Interpretation of the Canons of Ethics had ruled that a card in a newspaper "Legal Directory" was permissible.

This position was contrary to the American Bar ruling, and was also opposed to the views of local bars in certain cities. Because of this conflict the matter was referred to the State Bar, as a whole, in July 1951, and the following resolution was adopted:

"I move, Mr. President, that the State Bar follow the lead of the American Bar in its revised Canons of Ethics, which would forbid publication of the professional card."


This committee feels that the insertion of the words "tax service" in a card in a "Legal Directory" is permissible, but is of the opinion that the action of the State Bar is binding on this committee and prohibits such cards being published in a newspaper.

One member of the committee is of the view that the publishing of such a card in a "Legal Directory" of a newspaper is permissible. (8-1)