Ethics Opinion 267

By Committee on Professional Ethics

NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
Committee on Professional Ethics

Opinion #267 -10/20/1972 (51-72)

Topic: Form of Professional Card
Digest: Professional card of a lawyer should not be on blue stock with blue lettering and should not include on its face an emblem
Code:  DR 2-102(A)(1)

QUESTION

May a professional card of a lawyer be blue on blue, and may it incorporate on its face an emblem such as the scales of justice?

OPINION

It is improper for the professional card or letterhead of a lawyer to contain a distinctive monogram. N.Y. County 591 (1971); Wise, Legal Ethics 145 (2d ed. 1970); DR 2-102(A) (1) and (4).A lawyer’s use of letterheads, professional cards and announcement cards should conform to normal, modest sized lettering giving the conventional information only, such as the name of the individual or firm, the address, the telephone, and the cable code, if any. Wise, Legal Ethics. 169 (2d ed. 1970).To permit embellishment of the usual simple professional card would undoubtedly lead to the use of competitive symbols and the dignity of the profession would be seriously compromised. The use of blue lettering on blue stock rather than being conventional, customary and usual is flamboyant and not dignified.

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