Ethics Committee Formal Opinion #1988/9-22
Conflict of Interest: Public Service
May 11, 1989
The name of a lawyer who has been appointed to a high state public office may not appear in the name, letterhead or other professional notices of the lawyer’s former firm. (Rule 7.1; Rule 7.5.)
A communication contained in a lawyer’s letterhead, firm name, or other professional designation must not be misleading to the public. (Rule 7.1; Rule 7.1(b); Rule 7.5(a); Rule 7.5(c).)
A communication by a lawyer or law firm is misleading, which is likely to create an unjustified expectation about results the lawyer can achieve. (Rule 7.1(b); Rule 7.5(c).)
Rule 1.11A is clearly intended to prohibit a lawyer who is also a public official from using the position for personal benefit or for that of the clients of the lawyer’s former law firm. (Rule 1.11A.)
- Does Rule 7.5 of the Rules of Professional Conduct prevent the name of a lawyer who has been appointed to a high state public office from appearing on the letterhead of the lawyer’s former firm with the designation “on leave of absence”?