Link to original WordPerfect Document
120 N.J.L.J. 476
September 10, 1987
COMMITTEE ON ATTORNEY ADVERTISING
Appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court
Firm Name: Foreign Law Corporation
Practicing as a Partnership in New Jersey
The inquirer is licensed to practice law in New Jersey and New
York, and is an associate with a New York law firm. That firm is
organized as a professional corporation. Pursuant to statute, the
corporate status of the firm is identified by the letters "P.C."
following the last names of the firm's founding and senior
partners. According to the inquirer, the "P.C." designation is
part of the firm name in New York, which is known there as "X & Y,
The law firm wishes to establish a New Jersey office for which
the inquirer will serve as managing attorney. The firm has not
formed a professional corporation in New Jersey, as permitted by R.
1:21-1A, et seq. The inquirer now asks whether the firm may
operate in this state as a partnership under the name "X & Y."
The permissibility of firm names is governed by RPC 7.5, et
seq. RPC 7.5(a) states:
A lawyer shall not use a firm name, letterhead or
other professional designation that violates RPC
7.1. Except for nonprofit legal aid or public
interest law firms, the name under which a lawyer
or law firm practices shall contain only the full
or last names of one or more of the lawyers in the
firm or office or the names of a person or persons
who have ceased to be associated with the firm
through death or retirement.
Attorneys "X" and "Y," the named partners, are active members
of the law firm, though neither is admitted to practice in New
Jersey. Unlike former DR 2-102(C), the above rule does not require
that a firm name include only the names of New Jersey attorneys.
Hence, the firm name could be composed of the respective last names
of X and Y.
In reaching this conclusion, we note a distinction between the
inquirer's proposal and that contemplated by RPC 7.5(b). That rule
permits a "law firm with offices in more than one jurisdiction [to]
use the same name in each jurisdiction." The rule is not
applicable here because the firm will not practice in New Jersey as
a professional corporation. Its name will, therefore, differ from
that used in New York.
However, the senior partners will continue to have their names
used in the firm name. This creates a potentially confusing
situation in which the New Jersey law partnership will have an
almost identical name to that of the New York law corporation.
Because corporate status confers certain rights and obligations on
law firms in New Jersey, we believe it advisable that the firm
clearly identify its affiliation with the New York law corporation,
and the fact that it is practicing as a partnership in this state.
* * *
This archive is a service of
Rutgers University School of Law - Camden