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                                         86 N.J.L.J. 734
                                        December 26, 1963


Appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court


Telephone Directories

    The Committee has received the following inquiry concerning the listing of an attorney's name, bar memberships or professional certificates in the yellow pages of a telephone directory:
    Is it proper for a New Jersey attorney to list his other bar memberships or professional certificates under “lawyers” or elsewhere in the yellow pages of the telephone directory? For example, are the following listings proper:

    Doe, John, Atty. N.J., N.Y., address, telephone;
            Doe, Samuel, Atty., N.J., PE N.Y. & N.J., address,          telephone;
    Doe, Walter, Atty. N.J., D.C., Registered Patent Atty.,     address, telephone;
            Doe, William, Atty. N.J., C.P.A. N.J., N.Y., address,      telephone?

    In the opinion of the Committee such listings, including the examples set forth in the inquiry, are improper. Any classified listing by a lawyer in the yellow pages of a telephone directory which differs from the general simple informative listing of fellow lawyers violates the Canons of Professional Ethics, Canon 27, and if it indicates specialized legal services it also violates Canon 46.
    The listing of lawyers' names in alphabetical order in the yellow pages of a telephone directory under the classification "Lawyers" is for the convenience of readers in finding the telephone number and address of the lawyer of their choice. It is not an advertising medium. But any lawyer who departs from the normal by a distinctive listing which attracts special attention is clearly attempting to advertise his legal talents. See American Bar Association, Committee on Professional Ethics, Opinion 284 (1951); Drinker, Legal Ethics (1953) 246.

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