OPINION 177
May 1958

INTERMEDIARIES - AIDING THE PRACTICE OF LAW BY PERSONS NOT MEMBERS OF THE STATE BAR - SOLICITATION - BANKS - Preparation of Will by Trust Officer of bank who is an attorney violates the Canons of Ethics.

 Canons 24, 32, 43.

Question

1. Is there a violation of the Canons of Ethics in the following situations? Bank "A" has exclusive telephone "Time-of-Day" service. Before receiving the time of day, anyone calling must listen to a recorded commercial of Bank "A." Among other commercials, this recording states, "Have you made a will? See the 'A' National Bank Trust Department today."

Bank "A" employs an attorney who, among performing other duties for the bank's trust department, prepares wills for anyone who might come in as a result of the telephone advertising.

(a) Assume said attorney prepares the will and charges a fee.

(b) Assume said attorney prepares the will free.

(c) Assume said attorney prepares the will free only if Bank "A" is named as Executor

 

2. Assume as a result of billboard advertising which states, "If you have no will, see your attorney or stop at the 'X' National Bank Trust Department," a client sees the "X" National Bank Trust Department, and the trust officer prepares his will and

(a) The trust officer is not an attorney.

(b) The trust officer is an attorney and he prepares the will free.

(c) The trust officer is an attorney, and he prepares the will for a fee.

(d) The trust officer is an attorney, and he prepares the will free, only if "X" National Bank
      is named the Executor.

Opinion

The designations herein correspond to those in the question.

1(a) The bank's attorney violates Canons 24, 32 and 43.

1(b) The bank's attorney violates Canons 32 and 43.

1(c) The bank's attorney violates Canons 24, 32 and 43.

2(a) The inquiry should be referred to the Committee on Unauthorized Practice of Law and does not fall within the jurisdiction of this Committee.

2(b) The bank's attorney violates Canons 32 and 43.

2(c) The bank's attorney violates Canons 24, 32 and 43.

2(d) The bank's attorney violates Canons 24, 32 and 43.

One member disqualified.