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                                             94 N.J.L.J. 225
                                            March 25, 1971


Appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court


Advertising - Christmas Cards

     A law firm inquires whether it may print or otherwise set forth its business name on a greeting card, e.g. Christmas card, proposing various alternate methods such as using the firm name without stating that it is a law firm, listing the full names of the partners, etc.
    This question, in all of its dimensions, has been thoroughly answered by a series of opinions of the American Bar Association, Committee on Professional Ethics summarized in Formal Opinion 309 (1963). After thorough analysis, we find no reason to differ with the conclusions expressed in the headnote to that opinion which reads as follows:
    Christmas cards and other seasonal greetings should never be sent in the firm name or by an individual in his capacity as an attorney and should not refer to the sender's profession, except as they may picture lawyers, judges, or symbols of the legal profession in a holiday context. They should not be sent to clients or other lawyers as such but only to those with whom a personal relationship with the sender exists.

    Of course, the issue involves Canons of Professional Ethics, Canon 27, which prohibits advertising. Those interested in the rationale, as well as reference to pertinent authorities, will refer to the full text of A.B.A. Opinion 309.

    However, we think it appropriate to observe that here, as in many other instances, the answer ought to be obvious. The personal relationship which warrants the exchange of holiday greetings between individuals does not depend upon reminders of the profession or occupation of the sender.
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