94 N.J.L.J. 1206
December 23, 1971
Using Attorney's Name in Novel
This Committee has received an inquiry from a New Jersey
attorney who has a client who is an author of fictional novels. The
author-client has asked the inquirer for permission to use his name
for one of the characters in a fictional novel presently being
written. The fictional character who will bear the name of the
inquirer will be a lawyer in the novel. The inquirer has not read
the manuscript, but asserts that his name in the novel will not be
that of a central character. The inquirer further asserts that he
has not requested the writer to use his name.
This inquiry is presently governed by the Disciplinary Rules of the Code of Professional Responsibility adopted by our Supreme Court, as of September 13, 1971, particularly DR 2-101:
(A) A lawyer shall not prepare, cause to be prepared, use, or participate in the use of, any form of public communication that contains professionally self-laudatory statements calculated to attract lay clients; as used herein, 'Public Communication' includes, but is not limited to, communication by means of television, radio, motion picture, newspaper, magazine, or book.
In our opinion, the inquirer should not grant his author- client permission to use his name unless he first makes certain that he will not be violating the Disciplinary Rules of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, and particularly DR 2-101(A).