Ethics Counsel

Ethics Opinion No. 196

Adopted August 13, 1959


The Central Committee has referred to the Ethics Committee three advertisements published by a member of the Bar in three issues of the same or different newspapers in which he offers “Income Tax Service.” The advertisements do not indicate that he is an attorney but simply contain the offer of the service, the attorney’s name and the various points at which he will be available at stated times to render the “Service.”


The advertisements constitute a flagrant violation of Canon 27 which provides that: “It is unprofessional to solicit professional employment by circulars or advertisements …” The omission of reference to his profession is considered a mere subterfuge designed to avoid the restrictions of Canons 43 (governing the use of professional cards) and 46 (pertaining to “notice of specialized legal service”). In the present instance advertisements are particularly reprehensible, not only as they pertain to a service, which although performed by laymen, is generally considered the practice of law when performed by attorneys, but also because the offending member is well known as a member of the bar through his recent candidacy for a judicial post in the County.

“In every case where a lawyer performs services for a client which would be performed by one not a member of the bar, nevertheless, in performing them in the course of his legal services, he is acting as a lawyer and subject to the Canons.”

Opinion No. 272, Oct. 1946. Opinions of the Committee on Professional Ethics and Grievances of the American Bar Association.