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                                             97 N.J.L.J. 766
                                            October 3,1974


Appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court


Classified Listing
in Community Directory

    An attorney has received a communication from Princeton Community Phone Book, Inc. offering to list the name, address and office telephone number of the attorney in the classified pages of its publication, known as Princeton Community Phone Book, under a classification entitled "Lawyers" for a charge of $45 per year. The Princeton Community Phone Book consists of an alphabetical section and a classified section not unlike the directory published and distributed by the New Jersey Bell Telephone Company. It has been published and distributed annually free of charge to residents and business people in Princeton and vicinity for 13 years.
    The Committee secured a copy of the 1972 and 1974 editions of The Princeton Community Phone Book. In the 1972 edition on page 18 of the classified section there appears "ATTORNEYS - See Lawyers". On page 80 between "LAWN MOWERS" and "LEATHER GOODS" no lawyers are listed. However, on page 71 of the 1974 edition under the heading "LAWYERS" (partial listing) there appear the names of several lawyers, their office addresses and telephone numbers.
    Significantly, on page 129 of both editions entitled "Table of Contents" there appears the following paragraph:

    "DISTRIBUTED ANNUALLY FREE OF CHARGE - on or about October 1st each year - with the compliments of the Publisher and participating advertisers to residents and business people in Princeton and vicinity. (Guaranteed minimum circulation: 20,000 copies) Residents of the Princeton Community are listed free of charge." (Emphasis added).
    The Table of Contents (page 129) also contains a paragraph setting forth "Advertising Terms and Conditions."
    The origin of the proscription of advertising and solicitation by lawyers is discussed at length in Drinker, Legal Ethics 246 (1953). The subject has been considered by this Committee in several earlier opinions, viz, Opinions 30, 87 N.J.L.J. 106 (1964); 46, 87 N.J.L.J. 449 (1964); and 58, 87 N.J.L.J. 741 (1964) which we now reaffirm. These opinions are consistent with and supported by Informal Opinions 456 and 457 (1961) of the American Bar Association, Committee on Professional Ethics in which it was determined that an attorney may not pay a fee to be listed in a Chamber of Commerce directory (or in the classified section of a community directory) that lists business concerns and professional men.
    The Committee is not unmindful of the provisions of DR- 2-102(A)(5). However, it was not the intent of that rule to permit an attorney to become an "advertiser" and to pay for a listing in a city directory which has a "guaranteed minimum circulation: 20,000 copies." It is the opinion of the Committee that the purchase of a classified listing in an advertising directory (such as The Princeton Community Phone Book) is ethically not acceptable.
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