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End-of-life notice: American Legal Ethics Library

As of March 1, 2013, the Legal Information Institute is no longer maintaining the information in the American Legal Ethics Library. It is no longer possible for us to maintain it at a level of completeness and accuracy given its staffing needs. It is very possible that we will revive it at a future time. At this point, it is in need of a complete technological renovation and reworking of the "correspondent firm" model which successfully sustained it for many years.

Many people have contributed time and effort to the project over the years, and we would like to thank them. In particular, Roger Cramton and Peter Martin not only conceived ALEL but gave much of their own labor to it. We are also grateful to Brad Wendel for his editorial contributions, to Brian Toohey and all at Jones Day for their efforts, and to all of our correspondents and contributors. Thank you.

We regret any inconvenience.

Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.


New Jersey Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct

Comment - Rule 7.5

This is renumbered DR 2-105, which the Court revised and adopted on January 16, 1984. What follows is the comment that accompanied that revision (see 113 N.J.L.J. 91, 93 (1984)).

This rule requires that the name under which a firm operates must contain the full or last names of one or more of the lawyers in the firm or office. Firms may retain the names of deceased or retired members provided that the status of those members is clearly set forth. Except for nonprofit legal aid or public interest law firms, the rule does not permit the use of a name that contains anything other than the name or names of individual lawyers. Although "Smith and Jones" would be acceptable, "The Jones Law Clinic" or "National Legal Services" would not be.

Paragraph (b) provides that law firms from other jurisdictions with offices in New Jersey may use, subject to paragraph (a), a firm name that includes the names of non-New Jersey attorneys. In order to do so, the jurisdictional limitations of practice for those named members of the firm not admitted in New Jersey must be set forth. In addition, when the name of an attorney not licensed in New Jersey is used in any firm name, all advertisements, letterheads or other communications must include the name of at least one attorney who is licensed in New Jersey. The person named must be responsible for the firm's New Jersey practice or a local office in this State. The intent of the rule is to make it clear that consumers are entitled to know with whom they will be dealing. Furthermore, they must know that legal work generated in New Jersey will be handled by lawyers admitted to the bar of this State.

All offices maintained by multi-jurisdiction firms will have to meet the bona fide office requirements of R. 1:21-1(a) and In re Sackman, 90 N.J. 521 (1982).