Category: Ethics Opinions

Ethics Opinion 1225

Topic: Counseling clients engaged in recreational marijuana business; accepting partial ownership of recreational marijuana business in lieu of fee; personal use of recreational marijuana. Digest: In light of current federal enforcement policy, the New York Rules of Professional Conduct permit a lawyer to assist a client in conduct designed to comply with New York’s Recreational … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1224

Topic: Conflicts of interest; diminished capacity. Digest: When a lawyer is jointly representing two clients as joint purchasers in a transaction and one of them no longer wishes to proceed, the lawyer cannot continue to represent both clients without violating Rule 1.7, which prohibits lawyers from jointly representing clients with differing interests. That one of … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1223

Topic: Dual practice; Rental of office space Digest: Renting law office space for lawful purposes is a permitted nonlegal business for a lawyer. Where a lawyer who owns a nonlegal services business is providing nonlegal services to persons who are not clients, Rule 5.7(a)(3) provides that the nonlegal services entity will be subject to the … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1222

Topic: Non-legal services; mediation; unauthorized practice of law Digest: Lawyers may not jointly own a mediation business with nonlawyers if the mediation business employs lawyers to provide legal services to mediation clients. Lawyers may jointly own a mediation business with nonlawyers if the mediation business does not employ any lawyers and provides only nonlegal services. … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1221

Topic: Lawyer reaching out to former clients Digest: A lawyer who has changed law firms may contact clients she represented for estate planning purposes at her previous firm, may inform or remind these former clients that she has joined a new firm, and may offer to review their estate planning. Such communications are not advertisements … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1220

Topic: Falsely advertising a partnership among law firms Digest: Separate and independent law firms may not form a PLLC and advertise themselves as members of “ABC Law Group PLLC” because (i) the name would be a false, deceptive or misleading trade name, (ii) the name would be misleading as to the identity of the lawyers … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1219

Topic: Part-time county attorney, parole violation hearings, conflicts. Digest: A part-time assistant County Attorney whose office does not handle criminal prosecutions can generally represent defendants in State parole violation hearings. A conflict may arise in particular cases, such as where the defendant is adverse to the County Attorney’s office in other proceedings or where County … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1218

Topic: Sharing Legal Fees with Former Associate Digest: Subject to any applicable law, a law firm may pay legal fees on particular cases to an attorney formerly affiliated with the firm and now serving in a non-judicial public office for work previously performed at the firm to the same extent that the attorney would have … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1217

Topic: Law firm name after a partner leaves Digest: A law firm may continue to use the name of a former partner in the firm name where the partner leaves the firm for non-legal employment or becomes “Of Counsel” to the firm unless particular facts and circumstances would make it false, deceptive or misleading to … Continued

Ethics Opinion 1216

Topic: Government lawyer doing consulting work for private company Digest: A government agency lawyer, doing work on behalf of the government in connection with a software contract between the agency and a private company, may not also work as a consultant to the private company to help it provide such software to other agencies unless … Continued