SOLICITATION -- SIGNS -- Advertising to the public directly or through others by use of window signs or lettering to the effect that an attorney performs tax service is improper. However, an attorney may use a window sign or lettering which is modest and does not attract unusual attention to indicate the location of his office.
Canons 24, 39.
1. A firm of attorneys has a suburban office, located on the ground floor, and has a large window facing a well-traveled street. A portion of their practice concerns the filing of income tax forms. May they indicate by a sign, or lettering on the window, that they are doing such work with such signs "Tax Service or "Income Tax"? If the committee indicates that such would be permissible, then what limitations, if any, would be placed on the size of the letters of such sign?
2. An attorney has office space with a public accountant and a real estate agent, on the ground floor. The other tenants have caused to be erected a sign indicating that "Income Tax forms prepared here." All these parties prepare such returns; is this in violation?
3. Has the committee ever placed a limit on the size of letters to be used by an attorney in indicating the location of his law office, especially where he is located at a ground floor location?
The members of the committee answering this inquiry unanimously agree as follows:
1. The placing of a sign or lettering on a window in the words "Tax Service" or "Income Tax" violates Canons 24 and 39 of the Canons of Ethics of the State Bar of Texas, which prohibit advertising. (8-0)
2. As to the second inquiry, it should be understood that an attorney cannot do through others what he is prohibited to from doing himself. The words "Income Tax Forms Prepared Here" would certainly convey the idea that the attorney in the office would be engaged in such work, either in whole or in part, and this would therefore violate Canons 24 and 39. (8-0)
3. A sign indicating the location of an attorney's office should be modest and dignified, and any sign which attracts unusual attention or takes on the aspects of commercial advertising would violate the spirit of Canons 24 and 39. (8-0)