105 N.J.L.J. 362
April 24, 1980
Attorneys' Listing Financial
Specialties in Telephone Book
An attorney asks whether it is permissible to advertise in the
classified (yellow) pages of the forthcoming New Jersey Bell
Telephone directories, under his name, the designation Counselor At
"Members N.J. Society CPA's and American Association Attorney CPA's
Federal & State Taxes
Wills & Trusts
Administration of Estates
This Committee does not purport to approve advertising. Our
Supreme Court amended the Disciplinary Rules as of April 1, 1979
with respect to Publicity and Advertising. See DR 2-101, 102 in
particular; but also see DR 2-103, 105. However, because many
members of the bar may be unfamiliar with these new rules, we did
pass upon the question whether it was permissible to designate on a lawyer's letterhead that he is also a C.P.A. We held that he could not do so and cited, inter alia, DR 2-102(D), which reads as follows:
A Lawyer who is engaged both in the practice of law and another profession or business shall not so indicate on his letterhead, office sign, or professional card nor shall he identify himself as a lawyer in any publication in connection with his other profession or business. See our Opinion 447, 105 N.J.L.J. 119 (1980).
In the present inquiry, all references in the proposed advertising to C.P.A. Membership are prohibited by that rule and Opinion 447."
We are also troubled by the designation "Financial". What does it mean? It could be interpreted variously to mean "investment adviser," "money lender," "mortgage broker," "debt consolidator," and many other things. Regardless of the meaning attached to the word, it clearly does not fall into any category identified with the practice of law, and is misleading and ambiguous. We, therefore, hold that the designation, standing alone, should not appear in any advertising. It could easily be considered to be misleading or deceptive and something which might reasonably be expected to induce reliance by a member of the public within the
purview of DR 2-101(A), and (B)(2) and (3). It is therefore prohibited.