107 N.J.L.J. 525
June 11, 1981
Association with D.C. Attorney re
Federal and State Assistance Programs -
Advertising Availability for Conferences
A New Jersey attorney with no past experience in the area of
federal or state financial assistance programs for businesses and
small municipalities, wishes to associate himself with a Washington
D.C. attorney, now living in New Jersey, who has considerable
expertise in the field. The inquirer wishes to place a paid
advertisement in local newspapers advertising his availability for
exploratory conferences with interested parties or their legal and
financial representatives concerning state or federal assistance
programs. It is contemplated that the Washington attorney would
make himself available and be present throughout the conferences
with the clients in order to assist in the proper conduct of the
conference and to lend his expertise, advice and assistance.
DR 2-101, Publicity and Advertising provides:
(A) A lawyer shall not knowingly make any representation about his ability, background, or experience, or that of the lawyer's partner or associate, or about the fee or any other aspect of a proposed professional engagement, that is false, fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive, or that might reasonably be expected to induce reliance by a member of the public.
It is clear that the advertisement by the inquirer who admittedly has no past experience in the field is at the least misleading and deceptive, and violative of DR 2-101(A). In addition, the advertisement impliedly holds the inquirer out as a specialist in violation of DR 2-105(A) which provides in part:
A lawyer shall not hold himself out publicly as, or imply that he is, a recognized or certified specialist, except as follows... .
For the foregoing reasons, the practice as proposed is improper. Attention is also drawn to R. l:21-l(a) which concerns who may practice law in this State.