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                                         89 N.J.L.J. 801
                                        December 15, 1966


Appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court


Corporate Research and Brief Writing Advertising

    Two New Jersey attorneys who are principals in a New Jersey corporation organized to do legal research and brief writing for the legal profession inquire whether or not advertisement of such services in a legal periodical would constitute the unethical advertisement of a legal service. They also ask: "... whether a corporation wholly owned and run by New Jersey attorneys could perform legal writing and research strictly for other members of the bar."
    The articles of incorporation and the by-laws of the organization include provisions to keep services confidential, and for the development and use of all types of information retrieval devices.
    R.1:26A limits the charge of this Committee to matters "... concerning proper conduct for a member of the legal profession under the Canons of Professional Ethics and other rules of this court governing the practice of attorneys." In the context of the function of this Committee, the inquiry is restated as:

        May New Jersey attorneys participate as principals or employees in a corporation that proposes to do legal research and brief writing for members of the bar, and to advertise such service in a legal periodical published in New Jersey?

It is the opinion of this Committee that the proposed activity of the attorneys making this inquiry is improper.
    R.1:12-1(e) prohibits the practice of law by a corporation. And, an attorney should not permit his professional services to be used in aid of or to make possible the unauthorized practice of law by a corporation. Canon 47. We hold that legal research and brief writing - the very foundation of all law practice - do constitute the practice of law.
    The participation of attorneys in the proposed advertising program of the corporation is not permitted to the attorneys individually under Canon 27. The use of the corporate form does not make their participation proper.

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