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                                         91 N.J.L.J. 669
                                        October 17, 1968


Appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court


Publications Question Answer Pamphlet

    Inquiry is made as to whether an attorney may circulate among union members a pamphlet containing "approximately 100 questions and answers relative to general information concerning the Workmen's Compensation Laws from the time of the inquiry through final hearing of the workmen's compensation case." The pamphlet would bear the name and address of the attorney on the front cover. Canon 40 provides as follows:
            A lawyer may with propriety write articles for publications in which he gives information upon the law; but he should not accept employment from such publications to advise inquiries in respect to their individual rights.

    In Opinion 122, 90 N.J.L.J. 849 (1967), this Committee held that Canon 40 did not preclude an attorney from writing a by-line column for a monthly newspaper, The Labor Herald, covering discussions of the National Labor Relations Act and decisions of the National Labor Relations Board. We called attention to Opinion 162 (1936) of the American Bar Association's Committee on Professional Ethics, which permitted articles for trade magazines but prohibited answers to reader's questions.

    It is our opinion that this inquiry does not come within the holding of Opinion 122, supra. This inquirer will distribute questions and answers, in a pamphlet designed for this purpose only. His name will appear on the front cover. The effect of such circulation among a group most likely to be concerned can only be to stimulate interest of the reader in seeking the advice of the attorney-author. The pamphlet is not a magazine of general circulation nor does it contain anything but the questions and answers he proposes.
    The American Bar Association's Committee on Professional Ethics has applied Canon 40 to require deletion of the attorney's name where a general counsel of an association renders opinions for distribution in a member's bulletin, Opinion 273 (1946); to exclude the name of the attorney in a magazine article on pitfalls in home purchasing, Informal Opinion 392 (1960); and to forbid an attorney from placing in his reception room a copyrighted pamphlet prepared
by him on the current law of descent, Informal Opinion 503 (1962).
    For the foregoing reasons, the conduct proposed in this inquiry is improper.

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