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                                         87 N.J.L.J. 106
                                        February 13, 1964


Appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court


Advertising Law Lists

    An attorney inquires whether it would be ethical to have the name of his law firm, with the office address and telephone number, listed under the classification "Lawyers" in "an alphabetical and classified directory encompassing selected businesses throughout the entire State of New Jersey" published by New Jersey Classified Directory Co. The listing fee is $45 per year. The attorney encloses with his inquiry a copy of an advertisement concerning this publication, which states "Directory Advertising Gets Results."
    Canons of Professional Ethics, Canon 27 generally prohibits lawyers from advertising directly or indirectly. The canon, however, permits the publication of a lawyer's name and certain information relating to him, in "reputable law lists." The anon does not define this term, but provides:
        A certificate of compliance with the Rules and Standards issued by the Special Committee on Law Lists may be treated as evidence that such list is reputable.

Canon 43 states:

        It is improper for a lawyer to permit his name to be published in a law list the conduct, management or contents of which are calculated or likely to deceive or anger the public or the profession, or to lower the dignity or standing of the profession.

    The Rules and Standards As to Law Lists adopted by the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association September 30, 1937, as
amended October 1941, August 1942 and February 1944, provide, in part, as follows:
        1. Every list of attorneys at law, legal directory or other instrumentality maintained or published primarily for the purpose of circulating or presenting the name or names of any attorney or attorneys at law as probably available for professional employment, shall be deemed a Law List.

        3. No certificate of compliance shall be issued to the publisher of any Law List or continue unrevoked

        (g) or if such Law List shall be published or issued as a part of any professional, commercial, trade or business publication or journal; ...

        While this Committee has not been furnished with any copies of the publication in question, the advertising circular makes it plain that the publication constitutes an advertising directors for a variety of businesses. Thus it cannot be considered a law list such as the Canons recognize as proper for the listing of lawyers. We are accordingly of the opinion that a lawyer cannot ethically purchase a listing in such a publication.

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