NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATIONProfessional
Ethics Committee Opinion
Opinion #72 - 03/01/1968
Topic: Advertising, Directories
Digest: Distinctive listing in telephone directories improper
Canon: Former Canon 27
In listing an attorney in a telephone or other directory, may the
listing be distinctive by the use of bold face type?
When a lawyers name is published in a directory in a type of a size
or style distinctive from that in which the names of other subscribers
are listed, it becomes a form of advertising and falls within the
purview of Canon 27. A lawyer's conduct in causing it to be
published in such manner must be condemned.
ABA Opinion 284 stated that the use of bold face type in a classified
listing composed solely of other lawyers indicated a studied purpose to
single oneself for special notice over and above his fellow lawyers.
(Accord ABA Opinions 53 and 123.)
Recently, ABA Informal Opinion 487 condemned "the listing of a
lawyer's name in a distinctive type in a telephone or city directory in
the regular or classified sections. Such a distinctive means of
self-classification is improper advertising and offends Canon 27."