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Upon the dissolution of a firm, may a lawyer who was commonly referred to within the firm as a “senior partner” describe himself in an announcement of the opening of his own law office as “a former senior partner” in that firm?
DR 2-l02(A) (2) provides that a professional announcement card may state new or changed associations or addresses, change of firm name, or similar matters pertaining to the professional office of a lawyer or law firm and “the immediate past position of the lawyer”. However, it does not define the word “position”.
While the term “senior partner” is used in common parlance, it is susceptible to a variety of meanings which are not necessarily indicative of either authority or relative ability. Because the term may mean different things to the different persons to whom the announcement is sent, its use might tend to mislead the uninformed.
Accordingly, we disapprove the use of the word “senior” in the proposed announcement. It would of course be permissible for the lawyer, upon the dissolution of his firm, to refer in the announcement card to his partnership in that firm and to state that it has ceased by reason of the firm’s dissolution. N.Y. County 596 (1972).
November 18, 1974.