Ethics Opinions

Opinion No. 78-4

Summary: The committee has reconsidered that part of its Opinion 74-4 which held that publication of a notice of a lawyer's availability to act as a consultant with other lawyers in a particular branch of law in a publication intended primarily for the professional use of lawyers could properly be made in a particular legal journal "not more frequently than once a month." In the light of recent cases construing the First Amendment, as applied to professional advertising, we now conclude that such a limitation on the frequency of publication cannot be required by our Canons of Ethics and Disciplinary Rules.

Facts: A weekly law journal has asked the committee whether its "Lawyer to Lawyer Referral" section may now be published more frequently than once a month. We had previously held that publication of such information more often than once a month might be a violation of the Disciplinary Rules. See our Opinion No. 74-4.

Discussion: We have reconsidered the "once a month" limitation on publication of such an announcement in the light of the cases construing the First Amendment, as applied to professional advertising, which were discussed in our Opinion No. 77-15. We believe that the provision in SJC General Rule 3:22, DR 2-105(A)(3), which states that such announcements "may be published periodically in legal journals," can no longer be construed to prohibit publication "more often than once a month in any particular legal journal."
We now conclude that a legal journal may publish the announcement of a lawyer's availability to act as consultant to or as associate of other lawyers in a particular branch of law or legal practice as frequently as the legal journal is published.


Permission to publish granted by the Board of Delegates, 1978. As stated in the Rules of the Committee on Professional Ethics, this advice is that of a committee without official governmental status.
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