NUMBER 334 1935

Question. A is the attorney for the plaintiff in an action pending in a Federal Court, involving trade-mark infringement. B is not a member of the Bar, nor is he now associated in any manner with A. B is a patent and trade-mark attorney duly registered in the United States Patent Office, and has had many years’ experience in the taking of testimony in trade-mark matters. A desires to utilize B’s services for the taking of depositions in various parts of the United States for use in the above mentioned action.

Is it proper professional conduct for A to employ B to take depositions under the rules of the United States Courts for use in the pending litigation?

Answer. If A desires to have B conduct the examination of deponents, in the opinion of the Committee the proposed services of B would constitute the practice of law, and it would be professionally improper for A to utilize them.


The opinion expressed in the preceding paragraph is in accord with that of the Committee on Unlawful Practice of the Law of the New York County Lawyers’ Association, to whom this question was referred. That Committee calls attention to Section 394 of Chapter 28 of the United States Code. Annotated, which provides: “In all the courts of the United States the parties may plead and manage their own causes personally or by the assistance of such counsel and attorneys at law as, by the rules of the said courts, respectively, are permitted to manage and conduct causes therein.”