NUMBER 335 1935

Question. Several years ago my father died leaving an insolvent business. At that time I told his various creditors that were I ever able to do so, I would personally repay such sums as my father owed them. Conditions being such as they have been since that time, I have been unable to keep my promise.

Would there be anything professionally unethical if I offered to pay these creditors by rendering professional services to each of them?


Answer. In the opinion of the Committee, the offer of the attorney to pay his father’s creditors by rendering professional services without charge would be professionally improper. While his desire to pay his father’s debts is entirely commendable, the method adopted might be construed as a cover for the solicitation of contacts which would be likely to inure to his professional employment and would cast suspicion upon his motives. The Committee is of the opinion that, irrespective of motives, solicitation of business not warranted by personal relations, is unprofessional. (See Canon 27 of the Canons of Professional Ethics and Opinion 256.)