skip navigation

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Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.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


7.1 Rule 7.1 Communications Concerning a Lawyer's Services

7.1:100 Comparative Analysis of New Mexico Rule

“A lawyer shall not make a false or misleading communication about the lawyer or the lawyer’s services.  A communication is false or misleading if: it contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law; omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading; or contains a testimonial about, or endorsement of, the lawyer that is misleading.”

7.1:101   Model Rule Comparison

The New Mexico rule which governs communications concerning a lawyer’s services, NMR 16-701, tracks the Model Rule except it adds that a communication is prohibited as false or misleading if it “contains a testimonial about, or endorsement of, the lawyer that is misleading.”  The New Mexico Trial Lawyer’s Association and a state bar task force submitted comments that have been published with NMR 16-701, but publication of the comments does not imply endorsement by the New Mexico Supreme Court.  The ABA Comment to MR 7.1 is also published with NMR 16-701.

7.1:102   Model Code Comparison


7.1:200 Lawyer Advertising--In General


7.1:210   Prior Law and the Commercial Speech Doctrine


7.1:220   False and Misleading Communications


7.1:230   Creating Unjustifiable Expectations


7.1:240   Comparison with Other Lawyers


7.2 Rule 7.2 Advertising

7.2:100 Comparative Analysis of New Mexico Rule

“A.      Permitted advertising.  Subject to the requirements of Rules 16-701 and 16-703 NMRA of the Rules of Professional Conduct, a lawyer may advertise services through written, recorded or electronic communication, including public media.

B.        Payments for referrals.  A lawyer shall not give anything of value to a person for recommending the lawyer’s services except that a lawyer may:

            (1)        pay the reasonable costs of advertisements or communications permitted by this rule;

            (2)        pay the usual charges of a legal service plan or a not-for-profit or qualified lawyer referral serve.  A qualified lawyer referral service is a lawyer referral service that has been approved by an appropriate regulatory authority;

            (3)        pay for a law practice in accordance with Rule 16-117 NMRA of the Rules of Professional Conduct; and

            (4)        refer clients to another lawyer or a non-lawyer professional pursuant to an agreement not otherwise prohibited under these rules that provides for the other person to refer clients or customers to the lawyer, if

                        (i)         the reciprocal referral agreement is not exclusive, and

                        (ii)        the client is informed of the existence and nature of the agreement.

C.        Required information in communication.  Any communication made pursuant to this rule shall include the name and office address of at least one lawyer or law firm responsible for its content.”


7.2:101   Model Rule Comparison

NMR 16-702 and Comment and MR 7.2 and Comment are substantially identical.  Prior to the amendments, NMR 16-702 set forth detailed provisions concerning record-keeping, permissible content, and allowed fee information.

7.2:102   Model Code Comparison


7.2:200 Permissible Forms of Lawyer Advertising


7.2:300 Retaining Copy of Advertising Material


7.2:400 Paying to Have Services Recommended


7.2:500 Identification of a Responsible Lawyer


7.3 Rule 7.3 Direct Contact with Prospective Client

7.3:100 Comparative Analysis of New Mexico Rule

“A.      In-person, live or real-time contact.   A lawyer shall not by in-person, live telephone or real-time electronic contact solicit professional employment from a prospective client when a significant motive for the lawyer’s doing so is the lawyer’s pecuniary gain, unless the person contacted:

            (1)        is a lawyer; or

            (2)        has a family, close personal or prior professional relationship with the lawyer.

B.        Restrictions on all contacts.  A lawyer shall not solicit professional employment from a prospective client by written, recorded or electronic communication or by in-person, telephone or real-time electronic contact even when not otherwise prohibited by Paragraph A, if:

            (1)        the prospective client has made known to the lawyer a desire not to be solicited by the lawyer; or

            (2)        the solicitation involves coercion, duress or harassment.

C.        Notice required.  Every written, recorded or electronic communication from a lawyer soliciting professional employment from a prospective client known to be in need of legal services in a particular matter shall include the words “Advertising Material” on the outside envelope, if any, and at the beginning and ending of any written, recorded or electronic communication, unless the recipient of the communication is a person specified in Subparagraphs (1) or (2) of Paragraph A.

D.        Exceptions.  Notwithstanding the prohibitions in Paragraph A, a lawyer may participate with a prepaid or group legal service plan operated by an organization not owned or directed by the lawyer that uses in-person or telephone contact to solicit memberships or subscriptions for the plan from persons who are not known to need legal services in a particular matter covered by the plan.”


7.3:101   Model Rule Comparison

No material variances are observed concerning NMR 16-703 and Comment and MR 7.3 and Comment.  NMR 16-703 was substantially revised in the 2008 amendments.

7.3:102   Model Code Comparison


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


7.3:210   Solicitation by Non-Profit Public Interest Organization


7.3:220   Solicitation of Firm Clients by a Departing Lawyer


7.3:300 Regulation of Written and Recorded Solicitation


7.3:400 Disclaimers for Written and Recorded Solicitation


7.3:500 Solicitation by Prepaid and Group Legal Services Plans


7.4 Rule 7.4 Communication of Fields of Practice

7.4:100 Comparative Analysis of New Mexico Rule

“A.      Communication of fields of practice.   A lawyer may communicate the fact that the lawyer does or does not practice in particular fields of law.

B.        Patent practice.  A lawyer admitted to engage in patent practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office may use the designation “Patent Attorney” or a substantially similar designation.

C.        Admiralty practice.  A lawyer engaged in admiralty practice may use the designation “Admiralty,” “Proctor in Admiralty” or a substantially similar designation.

D.        Certification by Organization.  A lawyer shall not state or imply that a lawyer is certified as a specialist in a particular field of law, unless:

            (1)        the lawyer has been certified as a specialist by the New Mexico Board of Legal Specialization, an organization that has been approved by an appropriate authority of another state, or by an organization that has been accredited by the American Bar Association; and

            (2)        the name of the certifying organization is clearly identified in the communication.”


7.4:101   Model Rule Comparison

MR 7.4 and Comment are essentially replicated in NMR 16-704 and Comment.

7.4:102   Model Code Comparison


7.4:200 Regulation of Claims of Certification and Specialization


7.5 Rule 7.5 Firm Names and Letterheads

7.5:100 Comparative Analysis of New Mexico Rule

“A.      Use of trade or firm name.   A lawyer shall not use a firm name, letterhead or other professional designation that violates Rule 16-701 NMRA of the Rules of Professional Conduct.  A trade name may be used by a lawyer in private practice if it does not imply a connection with a government agency or with a public or charitable legal services organization and is not otherwise in violation of Rule 16-701 NMRA of the Rules of Professional Conduct

B.        Multi-jurisdictional law firms.  A law firm with offices in more than one jurisdiction may use the same name or other professional designation in each jurisdiction, but identification of the lawyers in an office of the firm shall indicate the jurisdictional limitations on those not licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the office is located.

C.        Use of names of lawyers holding public office. The name of a lawyer holding a public office shall not be used in the name of a law firm, or in communications on its behalf, during any substantial period in which the lawyer is not actively and regularly practice with the firm.

D.        Statements about association.  Lawyer may state or imply that they practice in a partnership or other organization only when that is the fact.”


7.5:101   Model Rule Comparison

NMR 16-705 and Comment are substantially identical to MR 7.5 and Comment.

7.5:102   Model Code Comparison


7.5:200 Firm Names and Trade Names


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


7.5:400 Use of the Name of a Public Official


7.5:500 Misleading Designation as Partnership, etc.

7.6     Rule 16-706

7.6:101            Model Rule Comparison

The rule is withdrawn in New Mexico, and thus the New Mexico Rules of Professional Conduct do not contain the provision found in the Model Rules specifically addressing political contributions to obtain legal engagements or appointments by judges.