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Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.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

VII. INFORMATION ABOUT LEGAL SERVICES

7.1   Rule 7.1 Communications Concerning a Lawyer's Services

7.1:100   Comparative Analysis of New Jersey Rule

• Primary New Jersey References: NJ Rule 7.1
• Background References: ABA Model Rule 7.1, Other Jurisdictions
• Commentary:
• NJ Commentary:

7.1:101      Model Rule Comparison

New Jersey’s RPC 7.1(a)(3) differs in one important respect from the ABA Model version. ABA Model Rule 7.1 prohibits false or misleading communication, as does the New Jersey RPC 7.1. The difference lies in the definition of "false or misleading." ABA Model Rule 7.1(c) states that a communication is false or misleading if it "compares the lawyer's services with other lawyers' services, unless the comparison can be factually substantiated." ABA Model Rule 7.1(c) (emphasis added). The New Jersey Supreme Court did not adopt the italicized portion of the Model Rule as part of RPC 7.1(a)(3). The explanatory comments accompanying adoption of RPC 7.1 indicate that the New Jersey Supreme Court believed that comparisons between the services of attorneys had a "substantial probability for misleading consumers" because of the highly individualized nature of most legal problems. Rules of Professional Conduct, Comment to RPC 7.1, N.J.L.J., July 19, 1984. In addition, the comments stated that the public interest would not be served by "advertising that denigrates others." See id.

RPC 7.1(a) was amended in 1990 to include not only communications about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services but also “any matter in which the lawyer has or seeks a professional involvement.” This phrase is not included in the ABA Model Rules.

New Jersey’s RPC 7.1(a)(4) also contains language not used in the ABA Model Rule as it describes the type of information that can be advertised with respect to legal fees.

Paragraph (b) of RPC 7.1 was added in 1987 and its provisions are not found in the Model Rule.

7.1:102      Model Code Comparison

There is no direct counterpart in the New Jersey RPCs.

7.1:200   Lawyer Advertising--In General

• Primary New Jersey References: NJ Rule 7.1
• Background References: ABA Model Rule 7.2, Other Jurisdictions
• Commentary:
• NJ Commentary:

7.1:210      Prior Law and the Commercial Speech Doctrine

[The discussion of this topic has not yet been written.]

7.1:220      False and Misleading Communications

RPC 7.1(a)(1) prohibits both material misrepresentations of fact or law in an advertisement or other communication by an attorney, and also prohibits the omission of a fact necessary to make a particular statement not materially misleading. See Matter of Caola, 117 N.J. 108 (1989) and Matter of Anis, 126 N.J. 448, 461, cert. denied 504 U.S. 956 (1992). See Section 10:3-4, Michels, New Jersey Attorney Ethics (Gann Law Books, Newark, 2000).

7.1:230      Creating Unjustifiable Expectations

RPC 7.1(a)(2) prohibits statements that are "likely to create an unjustified expectation about results the lawyer can achieve," as well as statements indicating "that the lawyer can achieve results by means that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law." The explanatory comments indicate that this provision was originally intended to:

preclude advertisements about results obtained on behalf of a client, such as the amount of a damage award or the lawyer's record in obtaining favorable verdicts or advertisements containing client endorsements. Such information may create the unjustified expectation that similar results can be obtained for others without regard to the specific factual and legal circumstances.

Rules of Professional Conduct, Comment to RPC 7.1, N.J.L.J., July 19, 1984, supp. at 13. Under the rationale of Peel v. Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Comm'n, 496 U.S. 91 (1990), and Ibanez v. Florida Board of Accountancy, 512 U.S. 136, 129 L. Ed. 2d 118 (1994), however, most accurate factual information may now be included in an attorney advertisement, as long as an appropriate disclaimer is also employed. Thus, RPC 7.1(a)(2) has been modified by Peel and Ibanez so that it no longer prohibits all statements that are "likely to create an unjustified expectation about results the lawyer can achieve." RPC 7.1(a)(2). Rather, RPC 7.1(a)(2) now prohibits only those statements that have not been rendered unlikely to create an unjustified expectation through the addition of additional information or an appropriate disclaimer. See Section 10:3-4, Michels, New Jersey Attorney Ethics (Gann Law Books, Newark, 2000).

7.1:240      Comparison with Other Lawyers

RPC 7.1(a)(3) disallows all statements that compare a lawyer's services with another lawyers' services.

7.2   Rule 7.2 Advertising

7.2:100   Comparative Analysis of New Jersey Rule

• Primary New Jersey References: NJ Rule 7.2
• Background References: ABA Model Rule 7.2, Other Jurisdictions
• Commentary:
• NJ Commentary:

7.2:101      Model Rule Comparison

Unlike the ABA Model Rule 7.2(a), RPC 7.2(a) provides that "[a]ll advertisements shall be predominantly informational." This requirement originated when the New Jersey Supreme Court adopted the current version of RPC 7.2 (a) in the course of its opinion in Petition of Felmeister & Isaacs, 104 N.J. 515 (1986). The predominantly informational standard replaced the original version of RPC 7.2(a), adopted in 1984, which had required that all advertisements "be presented in a dignified manner." Rules of Professional Conduct, RPC 7.2 & Comment, N.J.L.J., July 19, 1984. Paragraph (a) of RPC 7.2 also sets forth other limitations on advertising not contained in the Model Rule 7.2. For example, “no drawings, animations, dramatizations, music, or lyrics” can be used in televised advertising.

Paragraph (b) of RPC 7.2 requires that a copy of the advertisement must be kept for three years, rather than the ABA Model Rule 7.2’s two years.

In 1992, paragraph (c)(2) of RPC 7.2 was amended to provide that “a lawyer may pay the reasonable cost of advertising, written communication or other notification required in connection with the sale of a law practice as permitted by RPC 1.17.” This provision is longer but analogous to the ABA Model Rule 7.2(c)(3).

Paragraph (c)(3) of RPC 7.2 is the same provision as ABA Model Rule 7.2(c)(2).

New Jersey did not adopt paragraph (d) of the ABA Model Rule 7.2.

7.2:102      Model Code Comparison

There is no direct counterpart in the New Jersey RPCs.

7.2:200   Permissible Forms of Lawyer Advertising

• Primary New Jersey References: NJ Rule 7.2(a)
• Background References: ABA Model Rule 7.2(a), Other Jurisdictions
• Commentary: ABA/BNA § 81.201, Wolfram § 14.2
• NJ Commentary: Sections 11:3 and 11:3-2, Michels, New Jersey Attorney Ethics (Gann Law Books, Newark, 2000)

RPC 7.2(a) provides that "[a]ll advertisements shall be predominantly informational." While nearly all media may be used for lawyer advertising, the regulation of attorney advertising and marketing may vary with the medium chosen. Specific media chosen for advertising and marketing may pose specific issues.

Television advertising has been permitted in New Jersey since January, 1984. Because of the nature of the medium, however, it has been subject to greater restriction. While RPC 7.2 affirmatively permits television advertising, the rule also provides that "[n]o drawings, animation's, dramatizations, music, or lyrics shall be used in connection with televised advertising." RPC 7.2(a). The rationale for this prohibition is that "the emotional impact of television advertising, in its ability to persuade subliminally, through symbols, music, drama, authority figures -- the entire host of emotive non-rational techniques -- far exceeds that of the print media and radio." Petition of Felmeister & Isaacs, 104 N.J. 515, 539 (1986).

7.2:300   Retaining Copy of Advertising Material

• Primary New Jersey References: NJ Rule 7.2(b)
• Background References: ABA Model Rule 7.2(b), Other Jurisdictions
• Commentary: ABA/BNA § 81:401, Wolfram § 14.2
• NJ Commentary: Section 10:3-6, Michels, New Jersey Attorney Ethics (Gann Law Books, Newark, 2000)

RPC 7.2(b) requires that "[a] copy or recording of an advertisement or written communication shall be kept for three years after its dissemination along with a record of when and where it was used." The rule is intended to enable a full and adequate review of the matter in case of any grievance. Note that under New Jersey Court R. 1:19A-4(a), an attorney who is the subject of a complaint must file "a true copy of the advertisement, tape recording, video tape, or other related communication for the Advertising Committee's use" with his or her response.

7.2:400   Paying to Have Services Recommended

• Primary New Jersey References: NJ Rule 7.2(c)
• Background References: ABA Model Rule 7.2(c), Other Jurisdictions
• Commentary: ABA/BNA § 81.301, Wolfram § 14.2
• NJ Commentary: Section 36:5-5, Michels, New Jersey Attorney Ethics (Gann Law Books, Newark, 2000)

RPC 7.2(c) provides that “[a] lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer's services, except that: (1) a lawyer may pay the reasonable cost of advertising or written communication permitted by this Rule; (2) a lawyer may pay the reasonable cost of advertising, written communication or other notification required in connection with the sale of a law practice as permitted by RPC 1.17; and (3) a lawyer may pay the usual charges of a not-for-profit lawyer referral service or other legal service organization.” See N.J. Advisory Comm. on Professional Ethics Op. 555 (May 16, 1985).

7.2:500   Identification of a Responsible Lawyer

• Primary New Jersey References:
• Background References: ABA Model Rule 7.2(d), Other Jurisdictions
• Commentary: ABA/BNA §§ 81.201, 81:301, Wolfram § 14.2
• NJ Commentary:

ABA Model Rule 7.2(d) was not adopted in New Jersey.

7.3   Rule 7.3 Direct Contact with Prospective Client

7.3:100   Comparative Analysis of New Jersey Rule

• Primary New Jersey References: NJ Rule 7.3
• Background References: ABA Model Rule 7.3, Other Jurisdictions
• Commentary:
• NJ Commentary:

7.3:101      Model Rule Comparison

New Jersey's current approach to in-person solicitation is more liberal than that taken by the ABA Model Rules. Model Rule 7.3 prohibits all in-person and live telephone solicitation of employment unless the attorney has a family or prior professional relationship with the prospective client. ABA Model Rule 7.3(a). New Jersey's version of the rule permits truthful, in-person solicitation when the potential client is not under any type of pressure to make a decision. Paragraph (b) of RPC 7.3 then sets forth those situations where an attorney is prohibited from contacting or sending written communication to a prospective client.

The remaining section of RPC 7.3, paragraphs (c), (d), (e) and (f), differ significantly from the Model Rule. See Sections 7.3:400 and 7.3:500 herein.

7.3:102      Model Code Comparison

There is no direct counterpart in the New Jersey RPCs.

7.3:200   Prohibition of For-Profit In-Person Solicitation

• Primary New Jersey References: NJ Rule 7.3(a)
• Background References: ABA Model Rule 7.3(a), Other Jurisdictions
• Commentary: ABA/BNA § 81:2001, Wolfram § 14.2.5
• NJ Commentary: Section 12:3-2, Michels, New Jersey Attorney Ethics (Gann Law Books, Newark, 2000)

RPC 7.3 governs the solicitation of employment by attorneys. Prior to the adoption of this rule, most types of solicitation were prohibited in New Jersey. In 1984, however, the New Jersey Supreme Court determined that "[s]olicitation generally is not harmful." Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 7.3 Comment, N.J.L.J., July 19, 1984, supp. at 15. Now, most forms of solicitation are allowed, even in-person solicitation not arising from a specific event. See RPC 7.3(b)(4) and (5).

RPC 7.3(b)(4) and (5) prohibit in-person and telephone solicitation of a prospective client concerning a specific event. Thus, a lawyer who learns that a person is faced with a particular legal problem or has a potential cause of action may not confront or call that person in order to solicit their business. The lawyer may, however, mail a letter of solicitation to that person, provided that the letter contains certain disclaimers and information.

RPC 7.3(b)(4) was added by the New Jersey Supreme Court effective May 5, 1997, in response to Florida Bar v. Went For It, Inc., 515 U.S. 618 (1995) and solicitations in mass-disaster cases as Pan Am Flight 103. Impermissible in-person solicitation is not limited to one-on-one situations.

In Matter of Ravich, Koster, Tobin, Oleckna, Reitman & Greenstein, 155 N.J. 357 (1998), the New Jersey Supreme Court considered RPC 7.3(b) in connection with attorneys’ solicitation of clients shortly after a gas line explosion at an apartment complex. The New Jersey Supreme Court reprimanded a law firm that parked a recreational vehicle containing firm advertisements near the explosion site and shelter. Id. at 369. The Court also reprimanded an attorney who spoke to a group of the victims at the emergency shelter shortly after the explosion about the victims’ legal remedies. Another attorney was reprimanded for speaking with victims and handing out his business cards.

7.3:210      Solicitation by Non-Profit Public Interest Organization

[The discussion of this topic has not yet been written.]

7.3:220      Solicitation of Firm Clients by a Departing Lawyer

[The discussion of this topic has not yet been written.]

7.3:300   Regulation of Written and Recorded Solicitation

• Primary New Jersey References: NJ Rule 7.3(b)
• Background References: ABA Model Rule 7.3(b), Other Jurisdictions
• Commentary: ABA/BNA § 81:2001, Wolfram § 14.2.5
• NJ Commentary: Section 12:3-2, Michels, New Jersey Attorney Ethics (Gann Law Books, Newark, 2000)

RPC 7.3(b) disallows direct contact with a potential client (whether in person, in writing, or by telephone) if:

(1) the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that the physical, emotional or mental state of the person is such that the person could not exercise reasonable judgment in employing a lawyer; or

(2) the person has made known to the lawyer a desire not to receive communications from the lawyer; or

(3) the communication involves coercion, duress or harassment; or

(4) the communications involves unsolicited direct contact with a prospective client within thirty days after a specific mass-disaster event, when such contact concerns potential compensation arising from the event; or

(5) the communication involves unsolicited direct contact with a prospective client concerning a specific event not covered by section (4) of this Rule when such contact has pecuniary gain as a significant motive except that a lawyer may send a letter by mail to a prospective client in such circumstances....

RPC 7.3(b)(1)-(5).

With respect to RPC 7.3(b)(1), the New Jersey Supreme Court has stated that an attorney should "consider the time and circumstances under which the contact is initiated. Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 7.3 Comment, N.J.L.J., July 19, 1984, supp. at 15. See also Matter of Anis, 126 N.J. 448, 457, cert. denied 504 U.S. 956 (1992). The New Jersey Supreme Court also noted in In Matter of Ravich, Koster, Tobin, Oleckna, Reitman & Greenstein, 155 N.J. 357 (1998) that the standard under RPC 7.3(b)(1) is an objective one, i.e., whether an attorney “should have known that the victims in these circumstances were not able to exercise reasonable judgment in employing a lawyer.” Id. at 369. RPC 7.3(b)(4) was added in 1997, prohibiting any direct solicitation within 30 days after a specific “mass-disaster” event.

RPC 7.3(b)(2) and (3) prohibit a lawyer from soliciting business from a person who makes it clear that he or she does not wish to hear from the lawyer. Nor may a lawyer engage in coercive or harassing behavior during an attempted solicitation.

7.3:400   Disclaimers for Written and Recorded Solicitation

• Primary New Jersey References: NJ Rule 7.3(b)
• Background References: ABA Model Rule 7.3(c), Other Jurisdictions
• Commentary: ABA/BNA § 81:401, Wolfram § 14.2.5
• NJ Commentary: Section 12:4-1, Michels, New Jersey Attorney Ethics (Gann Law Books, Newark, 2000)

RPC 7.3(b) generally disallows direct contact with a prospective client concerning a specific event, but contains an important exception:

a lawyer may send a letter by mail to a prospective client in such circumstances provided that the letter:

(i) bears the word "ADVERTISEMENT" prominently displayed in capital letters at the top of the first page of text; and

(ii) contains the following notice at the bottom of the last page of text: "Before making your choice of attorney, you should give this matter careful thought. The selection of an attorney is an important decision."; and

(iii) contains an additional notice also at the bottom of the last page of text that the recipient may, if the letter is inaccurate or misleading, report same to the Committee on Attorney Advertising, Hughes Justice Complex, CN 037, Trenton, New Jersey 08625.

RPC 7.3(b)(5).

Note that the Committee on Attorney Advertising has expressly disapproved targeted solicitation letters that fail to contain the required notices. See N.J. Comm. on Attorney Advertising Op. 12 (Jan. 20, 1992); N.J. Comm. on Attorney Advertising Op. 11 (Jan. 20, 1992). Consequently, failure to include appropriate language in a letter seeking employment in connection with a "specific event" may subject the lawyer to discipline. See RPC 7.1(b) (unethical to use an advertisement or other communication substantially similar to one disapproved by the Committee).

In addition, when the mailer includes more than a return address on the envelope used for such mailings, the envelope itself becomes part of the advertisement and must also contain the language set forth in RPC 7.3(b). N.J. Comm. on Attorney Advertising Op. 20 (May 15, 1996).

7.3:500   Solicitation by Prepaid and Group Legal Services Plans

• Primary New Jersey References: NJ Rule 7.3(c)
• Background References: ABA Model Rule 7.3(d), Other Jurisdictions
• Commentary: ABA/BNA § 81:2501, Wolfram § 16.5.5
• NJ Commentary: Section 37:4-3, Michels, New Jersey Attorney Ethics (Gann Law Books, Newark, 2000)

Attorneys in New Jersey are permitted to participate in legal services financing plans as long as they do so within certain ethical constraints. Thus, under RPC 7.3(c), participation is allowed as long as nothing in the promotion of the lawyer's services under that plan is false or misleading and as long as there is no coercion involved in procuring clients. In addition, RPC 7.3(e) permits a lawyer to be recommended, employed, or paid by an organization that pays for legal services rendered to its members or beneficiaries as long as the organization complies with a number of detailed requirements, including registration with the New Jersey Supreme Court, and as long as there is no interference with the independent professional judgment of the lawyer.

As to specific legal services plans approved in New Jersey, see N.J. Advisory Comm. on Professional Ethics Op. 383 (Dec. 29, 1977), Advisory Comm. Op. 455 (May 15, 1980), and In re 1115 Legal Service Care, 110 N.J. 344 (1988).

7.4   Rule 7.4 Communication of Fields of Practice

7.4:100   Comparative Analysis of New Jersey Rule

• Primary New Jersey References: NJ Rule 7.4
• Background References: ABA Model Rule 7.4, Other Jurisdictions
• Commentary:
• NJ Commentary:

7.4:101      Model Rule Comparison

The New Jersey Supreme Court amended RPC 7.4 to its current version in response to Peel v. Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Comm'n, 496 U.S. 91 (1990). Other than the first sentence of paragraph (a), RPC 7.4 is different from the ABA Model Rule 7.4. In part, this is due to the fact that New Jersey’s court rules provide for certification by the Supreme Court of New Jersey in various areas of specialty and this rule provides that lawyers may communicate their specialty certifications under specified conditions.

7.4:102      Model Code Comparison

There is no direct counterpart in the New Jersey RPCs.

7.4:200   Regulation of Claims of Certification and Specialization

• Primary New Jersey References: NJ Rule 7.4
• Background References: ABA Model Rule 7.4, Other Jurisdictions
• Commentary: ABA/BNA §§ 21:4001, 81:501, Wolfram § 14.2.4
• NJ Commentary: Section 11:4-6, Michels, New Jersey Attorney Ethics (Gann Law Books, Newark, 2000)

In 1993, the New Jersey Supreme Court amended RPC 7.4 to its current version, which provides that lawyers may communicate their specialty certifications as long as they also disclose the name and status of the certifying organization. See RPC 7.4. This amendment was prompted by the United States Supreme Court's opinion in Peel v. Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Comm'n, 496 U.S. 91 (1990).

A lawyer's advertisements "may communicate the fact that the lawyer does or does not practice in particular fields of law." RPC 7.4(a). In order to state or imply recognition or certification as a "specialist" in a particular area of law, however, an attorney must comply with the disclosure requirements of RPC 7.4(b). Subsection (b) provides that statements of recognition or certification as a specialist may not be false or misleading and must include the name of the certifying organization. In addition, if the certifying organization is not the New Jersey Supreme Court but has been approved by either the New Jersey Supreme Court or the American Bar Association, that fact must be noted in all communications making reference to the certification. Similarly, if the certifying organization is not the New Jersey Supreme Court and has not been approved, or has been denied approval, by either the New Jersey Supreme Court or the ABA, "the absence or denial of such approval shall be clearly identified in each such communication by the lawyer." Id.

7.5   Rule 7.5 Firm Names and Letterheads

7.5:100   Comparative Analysis of New Jersey Rule

• Primary New Jersey References: NJ Rule 7.5
• Background References: ABA Model Rule 7.5, Other Jurisdictions
• Commentary:
• NJ Commentary:

7.5:101      Model Rule Comparison

[The discussion of this topic has not yet been written.]

7.5:102      Model Code Comparison

There is no direct counterpart in the New Jersey RPCs.

7.5:200   Firm Names and Trade Names

• Primary New Jersey References: NJ Rule 7.5(a)
• Background References: ABA Model Rule 7.5(a), Other Jurisdictions
• Commentary: ABA/BNA § 81:3001, Wolfram § 14.2.4
• NJ Commentary:

[The discussion of this topic has not yet been written.]

7.5:300   Law Firms with Offices in More Than One Jurisdiction

• Primary New Jersey References: NJ Rule 7.5(b)
• Background References: ABA Model Rule 7.5(b), Other Jurisdictions
• Commentary: ABA/BNA § 81:3001, Wolfram § 15.4
• NJ Commentary: Section 6:2-2, Michels, New Jersey Attorney Ethics (Gann Law Books, Newark, 2000)

The Rules of Professional Conduct provide that "firms with offices in more than one jurisdiction may use the same name in each jurisdiction." RPC 7.5(b). Thus, a multistate firm opening an office in New Jersey need not have the name of an attorney licensed in New Jersey as part of its firm name. See N.J. Comm. on Attorney Advertising Op. 1 (Sept. 10, 1987). If the name of a firm includes the names of one or more lawyers not licensed in New Jersey, however, any communications "containing the firm name must include the name of at least one licensed New Jersey attorney who is responsible for the firm's New Jersey practice or the local office thereof." RPC 7.5(b). The Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics has stated that the responsible New Jersey attorney's status must be clear "to the eyes of an unsophisticated member of the public." N.J. Advisory Comm. on Professional Ethics Op. 533 (July 7, 1984). In addition, any identification of the firm's lawyers in conjunction with the firm's name, such as on a letterhead, must "indicate the jurisdictional limitations on those not licensed to practice in New Jersey." RPC 7.5(b).

7.5:400   Use of the Name of a Public Official

• Primary New Jersey References: NJ Rule 7.5(c)
• Background References: ABA Model Rule 7.5(c), Other Jurisdictions
• Commentary: ABA/BNA § 81:3001, Wolfram § 14.2.4
• NJ Commentary: Section 6:2-5, Michels, New Jersey Attorney Ethics (Gann Law Books, Newark, 2000)

RPC 7.5(c) disallows the use of the name of a "person not actively associated with the firm as an attorney" unless that person has "ceased to be associated with the firm through death or retirement." This language requires the deletion from a firm name of the name of an attorney who has left his or her firm to become a member of the judiciary. Such an attorney cannot be said to be "actively associated" with the firm, and the association has ended for a reason other than death or retirement.

7.5:500   Misleading Designation as Partnership, etc.

• Primary New Jersey References: NJ Rule 7.5(d)
• Background References: ABA Model Rule 7.5(d), Other Jurisdictions
• Commentary: ABA/BNA § 81:3001, ALI-LGL § 79, Wolfram § 14.2.4
• NJ Commentary: Section 6:3, Michels, New Jersey Attorney Ethics (Gann Law Books, Newark, 2000)

New Jersey's Rules of Professional Conduct provide that "[l]awyers may state or imply that they practice in a partnership only if the persons designated in the firm name and the principal members of the firm share in the responsibility and liability for the firm's performance of legal services." RPC 7.5(d). Each of the attorneys claiming that a partnership exists must be fully responsible -- both professionally and financially -- for the actions of the other attorneys in the group. See Report of the Ad Hoc Supreme Court Committee on Law Firm Names (Jan. 9, 1990), reprinted at 125 N.J.L.J. 316, 320 (1990).