May 1965

SOLICITATION—It is unethical for an attorney to permit his client, an agency for placing babies with adopting parents, to distribute a "Legal Adoption" circular suggesting that he be employed to handle adoption cases.

Canon 24.


A reputable home or agency, which places babies with foster parents for adoption, distributes to prospective adopting parents a mimeographed information sheet, entitled "Legal Adoption," advising that adopting parents may retain the agency’s attorney to handle the adoption proceeding and giving the attorney’s name, address, telephone number, and the amount of his fee. Is it unethical for the attorney to accept adoption cases so solicited?


Canon 24 prohibited both direct and indirect solicitation of professional employment by circulars or advertisements or through touters of any kind. If the attorney permits or acquiesces in distribution of the information sheet, or knowingly accepts employment by the distributees, he violates Canon 24. (8-0.)

(No opinion is expressed as to whether the agency’s activities constitute unauthorized practice of law or as to whether the attorney’s conduct might violate Canon 32 or Canon 43.)