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                                             90 N.J.L.J. 245
                                            April 20, 1967


Appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court


Specialized Legal Services

    An attorney wishes to include the following language in a professional announcement to be sent to fellow attorneys:                  Specializing in matters involving Federal and State Tax, Corporations and Estates.

    Questions concerning professional advertising are determined under Canons of Professional Ethics, Canon 46 (N.J.) which reads:
            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 obtain such service, is not improper.

As noted in our Opinion 107, the Committee has decided that it is bound by our present New Jersey Canon 46, which reads exactly like A.B.A. Canon 46 prior to its revision in 1956, since our Supreme Court has not adopted the 1956 revision of ABA Canon 46.
    In A.B.A. Comm. on Professional Ethics and Grievances, Opinion 175 (1938),See footnote 1 1 the following professional card was involved:


Attorney at Law

Practice in the following matters only:

Corporations, Wills and Estates, Divorce Practice.

    The ABA Ethics Committee held that such a card was improper, since corporations, wills and estates and divorce practice were not
specialized legal services, but rather special branches of the law and hence could not be placed on a professional card. The reasoning of Opinion 176 was reaffirmed in ABA Opinion 251 (1943) and made applicable to the type of announcement under consideration here. In Opinion 251 that Committee, in response to a general inquiry from a local bar association, held that unless the announcement related only to specialized legal services such as "Admiralty, Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights as distinguished from branches of the profession followed by the bar at large," the announcement would be improper. See ABA Opinion 194 (1939).
    From the above cited ABA opinions construing the original ABA Canon 46, it is clear that under the present New Jersey Canon 46 the proposed announcement is improper. Matters involving federal and state taxation, corporations and estates may be particular branches of the law or legal services under the revised ABA Canon 46, but they are not specialized legal services within the meaning of New Jersey Canon 46. See N.J. Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics, Opinion 49, 87 N.J.L.J. 465 (1964). Opinion 107, 90 N.J.L.J. 245 (1967).

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Footnote: 1 1All ABA opinions cited were decided under the original ABA Canon 46.

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