OPINION 239
July 1961

SOLICITATION OF BUSINESS—DISTRIBUTION BY A COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION OF PAMPHLETS PREPARED BY THE STATE BAR OF TEXAS--A county bar association may properly distribute pamphlets of an educational nature prepared by the State Bar of Texas, and attorneys acting under the direction of such associations may properly mail such pamphlets to their clients, provided the pamphlets are mailed in unmarked envelopes or in envelopes marked as coming from the county bar association.

Canon 24.

Question

Is it permissible for a county bar association to engage in institutional advertising through the distribution by its members to their clients of pamphlets of an educational nature which have been prepared by the State Bar of Texas, said pamphlets to be mailed in unmarked envelopes?

Opinion

A county bar association may ethically engage in such distribution. Further, a county bar association may handle the mechanical distribution of pamphlets in any feasible manner which will not solicit business for an individual lawyer or constitute an advertisement on behalf of an individual lawyer.

In this instance, the county bar association has suggested that each lawyer send pamphlets to his own clients—apparently thinking that, in this manner, adequate coverage of the county will be obtained—with the proviso that the envelopes and pamphlets in no way indicate the identity of the lawyer sending out the mail.

This could not constitute a solicitation for—or advertisement in behalf of—any individual lawyer and, therefore, such action would not be unethical.

The Committee is of the opinion that there would be less chance of an appearance of solicitation or advertisement for individual lawyer if the envelopes were marked as coming from the county bar association itself rather than appearing to be distributed anonymously. (9-0.)