Ethics Opinion 128

By Committee on Professional Ethics

NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
Professional Ethics Committee Opinion

Opinion #128 – 03/19/1970 (6-70)

Modified by 206
Overruled (in part) by 494
Topic: Dual Practice: Accountant­Lawyer
Digest: Improper for a lawyer to indicate practice of both law and accounting in one office
Code: DR 2-102 (E)

QUESTION

May an attorney engage in the dual practice of law and public accounting in one office?

OPINION

DR 2-102 (E) provides as follows:”A lawyer who is engaged both in the practice of law and another profession or business shall not so indicate on his letterhead, office sign, or professional card, nor shall he identify himself as a lawyer in any publication in connection with his other profession or business.’Prior to adoption of this Disciplinary Rule, ABA 279 (1961) held that it was improper for a lawyer to practice both law and accountancy. The new Disciplinary Rule does not forbid dual practice but is designed to prevent use of accounting practice or another business or profession from being used as a feeder for the law practice by forbidding the lawyer in connection with the other business or profession to identify himself as a lawyer. The Committee believes that it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to practice both professions in the same office without violating this Disciplinary Rule.

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