Ethics Opinion 312

By Committee on Professional Ethics

NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
Committee on Professional Ethics

Opinion #312 – 11/16/1973 (43-73)

Topic: The use of the initials P.C. in telephone directory listings
Digest: A professional corporation composed of lawyers must use the initials “P.C.’ in telephone directory listings
Code: EC 2-11; DR 2-102(B)

QUESTION

May an attorney use the initials “P.C.” (Professional Corporation) in telephone directory listings?

OPINION

Article 15 of the Business Corporation Law authorizes attorneys to organize a Professional Service Corporation. EC 2-11 provides that “a lawyer in private practice should practice only under his own name… or, if permitted by law, in the name of a professional legal corporation, which should be clearly designated as such.”DR 2-102(B) provides that “the name of a professional corporation or professional association may contain ‘P.C.’ or ‘P.A.’ or similar symbols indicating the nature of the organization…’  BCL Section 1512(b) makes this a requirement.It is, therefore, not improper for the corporate name to be used in telephone directory listings followed by the abbreviation ‘P.C.”; indeed a corporation formed for the practice of law must indicate that it is a corporation by the use of the abbreviation “P.C.” or “P.A.” in all its listings. ABA 318 (1967).

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