96 N.J.L.J. 463
April 19, 1973
Leasing Space to Out-of-State Law Firm
The inquirer asks whether it would be unethical for him to
lease space in his office suite to a New York law firm specializing
in longshoremen's and harbor workers' claims against their
employers. We are asked to assume that the New York firm would use
the space to interview clients, witnesses, etc. on an appointment
basis and without any intention of practicing before state or
federal courts in New Jersey. It appears that the forum for the
hearing of longshoremen's and harbor workers' claims is located in
New York, and it is stated that the New York firm does not intend
to "practice law" in New Jersey. The New York firm, if allowed,
wishes to place its name on the door and in the building directory
identifying the firm as being of the New York Bar.
We express no opinion as to whether, on the basis of the very general premises set forth in the inquiry, the New York firm would be "practicing law" in New Jersey, this question does not lie within the jurisdiction of this Committee.
The specific problem presented which lies squarely within the function of this Committee is the question of the use of the name of the New York firm on the building directory and on the door to the suite. Reference may profitably be made to the authorities collected in Drinker, Legal Ethics 230. 231 (1953).