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                                         5 N.J.L. 2381
                                        September 29, 1997

                                         149 N.J.L.J. 1298
                                        September 29, 1997


Appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court


Publishing Columns on the Law
in Local Newspapers

    The Committee has received an inquiry from an attorney who proposes to purchase space from local newspapers with small circulations in order to publish a weekly column on a legal topic that may be of interest to the general public. The first paragraph or two of the column will be a discussion of a legal topic in general terms; specific legal advice will not be given. The last paragraph will provide information about the inquirer's law firm, its practice and philosophy, and a telephone number at which the firm can be reached.
    There is nothing inherently improper about the publication of a column discussing a legal topic. To the extent that the column contains information and advice about occurrences such as motor vehicle accidents, the purchase or sale of a home, the advisability of drafting a will, or a change in the law, the author is engaging in an activity traditionally assumed by attorneys. In fact, were it not for the last paragraph providing information about the law firm and a telephone number at which the firm can be reached, the column would not be considered advertising. See CAA Docket No. 33- 88 (sending letters to current and prospective clients concerning recent changes in the automobile insurance laws did not constitute advertising or an attempt to solicit business).
    However, the presence of the last paragraph providing information about the inquirer's law firm converted the proposed legal column into an advertisement

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