I have been associated with “B” for the past 4 years in the practice of law sharing a suite of offices with him.
We desire to form a partnership under the name of “A & B” to specialize in the practice of Family Court matters, and desire to advertize such purpose, under specialized services, to the legal profession only, in the N.Y. Law Journal.
The editor of the Law Journal believes such advertisement would be a violation of the canons of ethics, despite the fact that all approved Law Lists publish such ads under firm names; the editor refuses to accept a firm name.
We desire your opinion on the ethics of listing such advertisement, to the profession only, under the proposed firm name.
The proposed advertisement would read as follows:
“A11 Family Court Matters –
to Profession Only
A & B, Ex. 7 – 7777”
Canon 46, provides:
“Where a lawyer is engaged in rendering a specialized legal service directly and only to other lawyers, a brief, dignified notice of that fact, couched in language indicating that it is addressed to lawyers, inserted in legal periodicals and like publications, when it will afford convenient and beneficial information to lawyers desiring to obtain such service, is not improper.
While the practice of Family Court matters would not qualify as a specialized legal service for purposes of announcements to the public (see Opinion No. 542, Opinions of the Committee on Professional Ethics, The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, May 1, 1940; Opinion No. 393, Opinions of the Committee on Professional Ethics, New York County Lawyers’ Association, 1950) such practice would be sufficiently specialized for announcements to other attorneys (see Opinion No. 393 supra). The fact that the specialty is to be carried on by a firm rather than an individual would appear to be irrelevant.
Accordingly, the Committee is of the opinion that the insertion of the proposed notice would not be improper.
December 10, 1964