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                                         95 N.J.L.J. 1151
                                        November 9, 1972


Appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court


Client Booklet for Negligence Cases

    The inquirer asks whether it is a violation of former Canon of Professional Ethics, Canon 27 (now DR 2-101 (B), see also DR 2-103 (A)) to distribute a six-page report entitled This is Your Case to a client when he consults the office on a negligence matter. The report outlines the information needed for preparation of the case
and explains the standard pretrial procedures, including interrogatories, depositions and physical examinations. The reader is admonished to be truthful, patient, concise, conservatively dressed, and in all respects a model witness. The report is to be printed in booklet form with the name of the attorneys upon the cover. In its preliminary form the firm name appears at the top of each page, and the report is signed "(firm name), Your Attorneys." The inquirer asserts variously that the booklet will be given "only to those who seek our services," "only to our clients," and that "these individuals seeking our services would already be clients."
    Obviously it is both proper and laudable to explain litigation procedures to clients who may be confused or concerned about their cases. No reason is apparent why this may not be done in booklet form as well as by conference, telephone, letter or mimeograph.

    However, if instruction of clients is the sole purpose of the booklet, there is no reason why the firm name should appear anywhere therein. Moreover, the distribution to non-clients, or through clients to prospective clients, of any such booklet displaying the firm name would amount to improper advertising. See this Committee's Opinion 134, 91 N.J.L.J. 669 (1968), and authorities cited therein.
    We conclude that the described proposal would be improper.

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