Ethics Opinion 135

By Committee on Professional Ethics

NEW YORK BAR ASSOCIATION
Professional Ethics Committee Opinion

Opinion #135 – 04/09/1970 (14-70)

Modified by implication by 206
Overruled (in part) by 493
Topic: Real estate office; Advertising; Insurance agency; Dual practice.Digest: In advertising a real estate or insurance office in which he is involved, a lawyer may not at the same time advertise that he is engaged in the practice of law.
Code:  DR 2-102 (E)

QUESTION

May lawyers conduct insurance or real estate offices jointly with their law practice and advertise the insurance and real estate activities?

OPINION

Disciplinary Rule 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.”Lawyers may conduct insurance and real estate businesses but not in a manner that identifies them as lawyers or tends to promote their name or law practice. The Committee believes that it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to both practice law and to engage in the other activities in the same office without violating this Disciplinary Rule. N.Y.State 128 (1970). Advertisements of the insurance and real estate businesses may not use the lawyers’ names or make reference directly or indirectly to the fact that the principals are lawyers. Nothing in the Code requires a modification of N.Y.State 26 (1966) rendered under the former Canons of Professional Ethics.

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