111 N.J.L.J. 381
April 14, 1983
The inquirer is a member of a New Jersey law firm. It has numerous partners admitted to the Bars of various other states, including Pennsylvania. The inquiry is whether, on its letterhead in the right-hand column under the address of its Philadelphia office, it may show the name of a Pennsylvania law firm with which it maintains an interstate partnership relationship. At the present time, in the right-hand column of the letterhead, it is stated "Philadelphia office" with the address and phone number. Inquirer now proposes that under this listing shall appear the name of the Philadelphia law firm with which the New Jersey firm has its partnership arrangement. It would be stated on its letterhead that the Philadelphia firm is "affiliated" with the New Jersey firm.
There would appear to be no objection to this under the recent opinion of the Supreme Court in In re Professional Ethics Advisory Committee Op. 475, 89 N.J. 74 (1982), app. dism. sub nom., Jacoby and Meyers v. Supreme Court of New Jersey, et al., U.S., 103 S. Ct. 285, 74 L. Ed.2nd 272 (1982). In this case, which involves Jacoby & Meyers, Justice Pashman, writing the majority opinion, said at page 88:
I subscribe to this determination because the
Court also recognizes the right of New Jersey
attorneys to affiliate with a national law
firm and to advertise their association.
Hence, the firm name restriction is extremely
And, again at page 99:
The New Jersey branch of the firm may note
such an association on office signs,
professional cards and letterheads, as long as
the reference is not misleading. See ante at
88. It may also utilize all currently
permissible forms of commercial advertising.
In view of the approval of the Supreme Court that lawyers in New Jersey affiliated with law firms in other states may signify such affiliation on their letterheads, professional cards and office signs, so long as they make it clear that the out-of-state firm is not licensed to practice in New Jersey, the proposed use of the name of the Pennsylvania law firm is not in conflict with DR 2-102(C).