Ethics Opinion 159

By Committee on Professional Ethics

NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
Professional Ethics Committee Opinion

Opinion #159 – 10/09/1970 (35-70)

Topic: Advertising, Chamber of Commerce
Digest: A law firm or individual members or associates may become members of a Chamber of Commerce
Code:  EC 2-9; DR 2-102; Former Canon 27

QUESTION

May a law firm or any of its members or associates become a member of a Chamber of Commerce.

OPINION

It is not unethical for an individual lawyer or his firm to belong to a Chamber of Commerce and to permit his name to be included in its membership list without identifying him as a lawyer. DR 2-102 forbids advertising but in view of the general character of chambers of commerce as a community service organization, membership by lawyers is not deemed to be advertising. ABA Informal #C-488 (1961).With regard to identification of the lawyer as such in lists issued by the Chamber of Commerce, see N.Y. State 81 (1968) and ABA Informal 816 (1965).Participation of the lawyer in Chamber of Commerce activities must not be used to advertise his services as a lawyer or to solicit business from fellow members or from the public.

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