Ethics Opinions

Opinion No. 75-3

Summary: An attorney may not announce his return from government service to the full-time private practice of law by placing an announcement to that effect in a local newspaper. Such an announcement may be made in the form of a brief professional announcement card which may be mailed to lawyers, clients, former clients, personal friends and relatives.

Facts: An attorney who has recently left the staff of a district attorney's office has inquired about the propriety of placing a brief, dignified announcement in the classified section of a local newspaper indicating his return to the full-time private practice of law.

Discussion: Disciplinary Rule DR 2-102(A)(2) permits an attorney to announce "new or changed associations or addresses, change of firm name, or similar matters pertaining to [his] professional office ... ." An attorney traditionally has been allowed not only to announce a new association or address but also to refer briefly to his former position with the government. See ABA Opinion 301(1961). DR 2-102(A)(2) specifically provides that the announcement card "may state the immediate past position of the lawyer." The announcement, however, may not be placed in a local newspaper but must be in the form of a "brief professional announcement card ... which may be mailed to lawyers, clients, former clients, personal friends and relatives." Disciplinary Rule DR 2-102(A)(2).


Permission to publish granted by the Board of Delegates, 1975. As stated in the Rules of the Committee on Professional Ethics, this advice is that of a committee without official governmental status.
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