Ethics Counsel

Ethics Opinion No. 197

Adopted August 13, 1959


A firm of attorneys are listed in the telephone directory of a state city under the heading “ADJUSTER.” No reference to their status as members of the Bar appears under this listing. Does such a listing constitute a violation of the Canons?


The Committee is of the opinion that such a listing is a violation of Canon 27 which prohibits the solicitation of professional employment by advertisement. The business of adjusting claims, while performed by the layman, is so closely associated with the practice of law and is so often performed by lawyers as an incident of their practice, that we believe it would be next to impossible for any attorney so engaged not to indirectly or directly be engaged in the practice of law. Hence any solicitation of such business by an attorney would be improper. The result of condoning such a practice would be virtually the same as condoning a similar listing under a subheading under attorneys, and such “specialty listings” have often been held to be violative of Canon 27 by this Committee. See Opinions No. 146, June 14, 1950, and No. 164, June 14, 1953.