Joint Opinion 95-14 and 95-21

January 19, 1995


Digest:         A bar association directory and a listing of attorneys on a notice providing information about lawyers' referral services may be made available in the court provided that the judge does not recommend the use of any particular lawyer or law firm, and it is clear that the court is not making an official recommendation.


Rule:            22 NYCRR 100.2(c)


         In Inquiry 95-14, a town justice states that the county bar association is planning to publish a directory listing the names, addresses, telephone numbers and types of matters handled by the attorneys listed. The judge asks whether it is permissible for copies of the directory to be located and made generally available in the court.

         In Inquiry 95-21, a Housing Court judge asks whether a handout sheet of a county bar association's lawyer referral service may be made available to litigants. The sheet would state the address and telephone number of the service and that the cost of "an immediate consultation with a private attorney in his or her nearby office for up to 1/2 hour" is $25. It would also state that there is no obligation to retain the attorney consulted or pay any fees beyond the $25.

         The Committee is of the opinion that, in both instances, making the materiels available in the court is permissible as long as the judge does not recommend particular lawyers or law firms, and makes clear that the availability of the materials does not constitute an official recommendation by the court.