90 N.J.L.J. 257
April 27, 1967
Inquiry has been made as to whether it is proper for an
attorney who is about to retire to send an announcement to his
clients and selected friends advising that he is retiring and that
he has arranged with another attorney to handle their future
The attorney who is about to retire has been general counsel to a corporation and has a modest private practice. He is in the process of referring all pending matters in his private practice to another attorney with the full knowledge and approval of each client. The retiring attorney also proposes to advise these clients as well as certain personal friends, by a formal announcement, that he has retired and that the other attorney is available to handle any future matters.
An attorney who is about to retire has an obligation to each client to insure that proper provision is made for the disposition of his matter. This should be done in consultation with the client and with his complete understanding and acquiescence. To that extent the retiring attorney's action is not only proper but necessary.
In our opinion, however, any announcement of the type proposed would be improper. Canons of Professional Ethics, Canon 27, deals with the impropriety of advertising and solicitation either directly or indirectly. In essence the proposed announcement, whether to current clients or to personal friends, would be an indirect solicitation of employment of the other attorney and therefore improper. See N.J. Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics, Opinion 25, 87 N.J.L.J. 19 (1964).