Ethics Opinion 083

By Committee on Professional Ethics

NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
Professional Ethics Committee Opinion

Opinion #83 – 07/10/1968

Topic: Announcement cards
Digest: Former Association on announcement card; to who may cards be mailed; publicity of opening office
Canons: Former Canon 27

QUESTION

An attorney is leaving his present partnership and opening his own office in another city.  In connection with his announcement cards he has the following questions:
1.         Is it proper to indicate on the announcement his present association?
2.         Is it proper to send such cards to clients and friends as well as to other attorneys?
3.         Is it proper to have an article in a local newspaper indicating the opening of the new office?

OPINION

1.         It is ethically proper for an attorney to state his former association on announcement cards, but this statement should be confined to the association presently terminated. (N.Y. City 690.)
2,         It is ethically proper for an attorney to send announcement cards to other attorneys, to his own clients, to clients of his old firm for whom he has worked and established a personal professional relationship and to those persons with whom he has ties of blood or of intimate friendship. (ABA 301, ABA Inf. 681; N.Y. City 384; N.Y. County 109, 375.) It is not proper, however, to send such announcement cards to clients of the old firm with whom the attorney had not established such a personal relationship, nor to other than his intimate friends and certainly not to his entire acquaintance. (ABA Inf. 107; N.Y. City 467.)
3.         It would not be ethically proper to have an article in a local newspaper of general circulation (ABA Inf. 140; N.Y. County 311), but it is permissible to have such announcements published in a legal journal. (ABA Inf. 141; N.Y. County 375, 431.)

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