Ethics Committee Advisory Opinion #1986/7-10
September 8, 1987
A lawyer may be employed by, and appear on, the letterhead as an associate of one attorney and as “of counsel” of another attorney. There should, however, be disclosure of the lawyer’s status to clients to avoid potential conflict with present or former clients of either firm (Rules 1.6; 1.7; 1.10; 7.5.)
Attorneys A and B are each part owners of a building in which they share space for their separate law practices. Neither attorney accepts cases in which the other is involved. Attorney A proposes employing Attorney C in his law practice. Attorney A would pay Attorney C’s salary and expenses. Attorney C would also work for Attorney B. Attorney B would reimburse Attorney A for fifty percent of Attorney C’s salary and expenses. Attorney C’s name, as an associate, would appear on Attorney A’s letterhead and Attorney C’s name would appear on Attorney B’s letterhead with the words “of counsel”.
Is this arrangement permissible?