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Since its inception, NYCLA has been at the forefront of most legal debates in the country. We have provided legal education for more than 40 years.
A question has been asked me by an attorney who is duly licensed to practise law in this state and who is employed by the Federal Government in a position in which he may not accept remuneration for any services rendered outside of his occupation. There is no stricture placed by his employer with respect to his accepting employment, as long as he is not paid therefor.
He has been asked upon several occasions, by members of his family and by close friends, to handle certain legal matters for them, which matters in no way pertain to the department which employs him. Neither he nor these individuals contemplate any remuneration for this work.
Would the performance of legal duties for these individuals by this Federal employee, without remuneration, contravene either the letter or the spirit of the Canons of Ethics governing practise in this state?
May this individual have stationery and business cards prepared, and may he place outside his residence a plaque stating him to be an attorney-at-law?
Neither the performance of legal duties without expectation of compensation, nor the preparation and use of stationery and business cards, nor the display of a shingle at the attorney’s residence contravenes either the letter or the spirit of the Canons of Professional Ethics. This Committee cannot pass upon whether any such activity might violate the terms of the attorney’s employment by the Federal Government.
Dated: February 26, 1957