The Judicial Conference of the State of New York has presented to us for consideration the following statement and questions:
One of the areas in which the Judicial Conference has maintained a continual interest is the area of judicial ethics and analagous area of legal ethics. We will greatly appreciate it if you will give us your opinions on the following practices:
1. The use by a judge, legislator or district attorney, who also maintains a lawful private practice as an attorney, of legal stationery which indicates his judicial position or public office.
2. The use by an attorney, who formerly was a judge, legislator or district attorney, of stationery which refers to former position or office.
In the opinion of the Committee, the use in private law practice by a judge or public official, or of a former judge or public official, of stationery which indicates his present or former judicial or public office is improper.
The use of ouch stationery might tend to mislead the recipients thereof into believing that the attorney exerts special influence because of his public office or it may be taken to imply that he is specializing in certain types of matters, which constitutes improper solicitation when sent to others than lawyers and might come within the prohibition of Canon 27 of the Canons of Professional Ethics of the New York State Bar Association.
The Committee furthermore considers the use of such stationery in bad taste and inconsistent with the lawyer’s duty to maintain the dignity of the profession (Canon 29).
Dated: October 22, 1958.