86 N.J.L.J. 734
December 26, 1963
Inquiry is made as to whether an attorney who is desirous of
building up a practice dealing with appellate work only may
properly mail to members of the bar announcements of this fact and
place such an announcement in the New Jersey Law Journal.
Advertising, direct or indirect, is proscribed by Canons of Professional Ethics, Canon 27, except as therein permitted.
Canon 46 provides as follows:
Where a lawyer is engaged in rendering a specialized legal service directly and only to other lawyers, a brief, dignified notice of that fact, couched in language indicating that it is addressed to lawyers, inserted in legal periodicals and like publications when it will afford convenient and beneficial information to lawyers desiring to obtaining such service, is not improper.
As a general proposition, any type of advertising by a lawyer is prohibited. Canon 46 was designed, however, to permit lawyers rendering a specialized legal service to lawyers only to communicate that fact to other lawyers. The method of communication is also provided for in Canon 46. Since Canon 46 is a departure from the rigid standards of conduct set forth in Canon 27, its provisions should be strictly construed. See Drinker, Legal Ethics 215 et seq. (1953); A.B.A. Comm. on Professional Ethics, Opinion 20 (1940); N.J. Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics, Opinion 10, 86 N.J.L.J. 719 (1963).
Viewed in this light, it is the opinion of the Committee that the attorney may place an announcement in the New Jersey Law Journal limited as prescribed in Canon 46, but may not send announcements to other lawyers.