Ethics Opinion 1972-11

June 30, 1972



It is proposed that a drawing of a hand be used on business cards as well as accompanying stationery, envelopes and announcements.


Such a drawing may be found to be undignified. In addition, Disciplinary Rule 2-102 makes no provision for allowance of pictures on such business materials.


DR 2-102 of the American Bar Association Disciplinary Rules provides in part:

"(A) A lawyer or law firm shall not use professional cards, professional announcement cards, office signs, letterheads, telephone directory listings, law lists, legal directory listings, or similar notices or devices, except that the following may be used if they are in dignified form:

(1) a professional card of a lawyer identifying him by name as a lawyer, giving his addresses, telephone numbers, the name of his law firm, and any information permitted under DR 2-105. A professional card of a law firm may also give the names of members and associates. Such cards may be used for identification, but may not be published in periodicals, magazines, newspapers and other media."


The only question involved in this situation is whether the use of the drawn hand on the materials will be dignified. It may be that it would be found not to be dignified. In interpreting the above quoted canon, there is no provision for allowance of pictures of any kind on such materials.

This opinion is advisory only. It is not binding upon the State Bar, the Board of Governors, its agents or employees.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This opinion was reviewed 8/9/76 and found to be acceptable under current rules. DR 2-102 was amended effective 2/17/76 but this did not affect the conclusion of the opinion.


Disclaimer: This opinion was issued by the Legal Ethics Committee of the San Diego County Bar Association. It is advisory only and is not binding upon any member of the SDCBA, any other member of the State Bar of California, the State Bar of California or its Board of Governors, or any persons or tribunals charged with regulatory responsibilities. The SDCBA, its officers, directors, agents, and the Legal Ethics Committee members assume no responsibility or liability in rendering this opinion.