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Chapter One - Advertising

FORMAL OPINION 7

INSURANCE ADJUSTMENT COMPANIES

UNLAWFUL FOR A COMPANY TO ADVERTISE LAWYER'S OFFICE AS BRANCH OFFICE. UNETHICAL FOR LAWYER TO PERMIT THE SAME.

(Withdrawn 12/31/94).

Adv.-2

FORMAL OPINION 15

LETTERHEADS

UNETHICAL CONDUCT TO FURNISH LETTERHEADS TO CLIENTS FOR THEIR USE.

QUESTION: Is it proper for an attorney to furnish his letterheads to a corporation client which proposes to write on them over the attorney's supposed signature, collection letters to delinquent debtors?

ANSWER: The Advisory Committee is of the opinion this is unethical conduct. [Rule 4 5.5; 7.1]

Adv.-3

FORMAL OPINION 16

ADVERTISING

ATTORNEY CAUSING NAME TO BE LISTED IN CORPORATION'S ADVERTISEMENT AND FINANCIAL, STATEMENTS AS ATTORNEY IS UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT.

(Withdrawn 12/31/94).

Adv.-4

FORMAL OPINION 17

ADVERTISING

ATTORNEY LISTED AS DIRECTOR OF A BANK OR TRUST COMPANY WHEN PROPER.

QUESTION: Is it proper for a lawyer, who is a director of a bank or trust company, to allow his name to appear as a director in its advertisements which designate his profession?

ANSWER: The Advisory Committee is of the opinion that a person who is a lawyer and who is a director of a bank or trust company may properly allow his name to appear as a director in its advertisements, which designate his profession, where the advertisement states the business or profession of all other directors, and is for the purpose of advertising the corporation, and the personnel of its management. However, it is improper for a lawyer to instigate such use of his name in advertisements.

Canon 2 DR2-101(A); [Rule 4 7.1]

Adv.-5

FORMAL OPINION 23

ADVERTISING

PLACING CARDS IN NEWSPAPERS, UNETHICAL PRACTICE

(Withdrawn 12/31/94).

Adv.-6

FORMAL OPINION 25

ADVERTISING

LISTING IN CITY DIRECTORY AND TELEPHONE DIRECTORY HOW PERMITTED

(Withdrawn 12/31/94).

Adv.-7

FORMAL OPINION 27

ADVERTISING

USE OF ATTORNEY'S NAME ON LETTERHEADS OR ADVERTISING MATTER OF A BUSINESS CONCERN WHEN PERMITTED.

(Withdrawn 12/31/94).

Adv.-8

FORMAL OPINION 35

POLITICAL ADVERTISING

LAWYER MAY PROPERLY ADVERTISE HIS CANDIDACY FOR PUBLIC OFFICE AND OUTLINE THEREIN HIS VARIOUS QUALIFICATIONS THEREFOR.

QUESTION: Is it proper for Missouri lawyer in advertising his candidacy for public office to outline in such advertising his various qualifications therefor, including the fact that he was a lawyer and a friend of a group of various groups of voters?

ANSWER: The Advisory Committee is of the opinion that a lawyer can properly advertise his candidacy for public office and outline therein his various qualifications therefor, including the fact that he was a lawyer and a friend of a group or various groups of voters. However, to state in such advertising that the lawyer had been representing a certain group of men in Court during a period of time might be improper.

Canon 2 DR2-101(B) (1); [Rule 4 1.6; 7.2]

Adv.-9

FORMAL OPINION 49

ATTORNEYS

NOT IMPROPER TO SPONSOR BOWLING TEAM ALTHOUGH MEMBERS THEREOF WILL USE SHIRTS BEARING ATTORNEY'S NAME.

QUESTION: John Doe, Attorney, is interested in bowling, and wishes to sponsor a bowling team. John Doe wishes to call the Bowling Team "John Doe's Fire Proof Bowling Team". Team members will wear shirts bearing the name "John Doe's Fire Proof Bowling Team", the name of the player and number of the player, and no other wording, no advertisement on or of the team in any way indicating the profession of the sponsor. Is the sponsoring of this team in this manner in violation of the Supreme Court Rules?

ANSWER: The Advisory Committee is of the opinion that the sponsoring of a bowling team by a lawyer in the manner outlined, is not improper and does not violate Supreme Court Rule 4.

Canon 2; [Rule 4 7.2]

Adv.-10

FORMAL OPINION 57

PARTNERSHIPS

CONTINUED USE OF LAW FIRM NAME ON STATIONERY WITHOUT INDICATION THEREON OF THE DEATH OF DECEASED PARTNER IMPROPER.

QUESTION: Canon 2 DR2-102(A) (4) has this provision: "A letterhead of a lawyer identifying him by name and as a lawyer and giving his addresses, telephone numbers, the name of his law firm and any information permitted under DR2-105. The letterhead of a law firm may also give the names of members and associates, and names and dates relating to deceased and retired members. A lawyer may be designated `Of Counsel'on a letterhead if he has a continuing relationship with a lawyer or law firm,other than as a partner or associate. A lawyer or law firm may be designated as `General Counsel' or by similar professional reference on stationery of a client if he or the firm devotes a substantial amount of professional time in the representation of that client. The letterhead of a law firm may give the names and dates of predecessor firms in a continuing line of succession."

Is the continued use of the firm's name on stationery, without some indication thereon of the death of the deceased proper?

ANSWER: No.

Canon 2 DR2-102(A) (4); [Rule 4 7.1; 7.5]

Adv.-11

FORMAL OPINION 69

ADVERTISING

LISTING OF LAWYERS SPECIALIZING IN PATENT, TRADEMARK AND COPYRIGHT LAW IN A CITY AND TELEPHONE DIRECTORY UNDER "PATENT LAWYERS" OR SOME SIMILAR APPROPRIATE CLASSIFICATION NOT IMPROPER.

QUESTION: Referring to amended Advisory Opinion 25, is it proper for a Missouri lawyer or law firm, engaged in the patent trademark and copyright practice to permit his or her name or law firm to be inserted int he city and telephone directory once in the body, once in one appropriate general classification chosen by the publisher as "Lawyers" or "Attorneys-at-Law" and once in one classified section of publication under "Patent Lawyers" or some similar appropriate classification?

ANSWER: Yes.

Canon 2 DR2-105(A) (1); [Rule 4 7.2; 7.4]

Adv.-12

FORMAL OPINION 72

ATTORNEYS

IMPROPER TO PERMIT LISTING IN A DIRECTORY NOT APPROVED BY THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION

(Withdrawn 12/31/94).

Adv.-13

FORMAL OPINION 79

ADVERTISING

ATTORNEYS

LAWYER OWNER OF ABSTRACT COMPANY CAN PERMIT USE OF NAME WITHOUT PROFESSIONAL DESIGNATION IN COMPANY ADVERTISING.

QUESTION: A Missouri lawyer, practicing in the county seat of a small out-state Missouri county, also owns and operates an abstract company,which he has incorporated under the name of "Doe County Abstract Company" and in which corporation the lawyer is a director and officer.Would it be improper for the lawyer to permit the use of his name without professional designation in the advertising matter of the abstract company,he being designated in such advertising as an official of the company?

ANSWER: No.

[Rule 4 7.1; 7.2]

Adv.-14

FORMAL OPINION 80

ATTORNEYS

IMPROPER TO ANNOUNCE ANY SPECIALTY OF PRACTICE EXCEPT PATENTS, TRADEMARKS, COPYRIGHTS AND ADMIRALTY PRACTICE.

(Withdrawn 12/31/94).

Adv.-15

FORMAL OPINION 86

ADVERTISING

IMPROPER FOR LAWYER TO STATE ON LETTERHEAD THAT PRACTICE IS LIMITED TO ANY CERTAIN BRANCH OF THE LAW(EXCEPT ADMIRALTY, PATENT, ETC.)

(Withdrawn 12/31/94).

Adv.-16

FORMAL OPINION 87

ANNOUNCEMENT CARDS

IMPROPER TO INSERT IN NEWSPAPERS BUT CAN BE SENT TO CERTAIN PERSONS.

(Withdrawn 12/31/94).

Adv.-17

FORMAL OPINION 88

ATTORNEYS

NOT IMPROPER TO HOLD INTEREST IN A NEWSPAPER COMPANY.

QUESTION: Is there anything improper or unethical about an attorney holding an interest and owning stock in a newspaper corporation?

ANSWER: There is nothing improper or unethical in a Missouri lawyer owning an interest in a newspaper so long as he does not use the newspaper to exploit himself as a lawyer or a medium through which to solicit law business.

Canon 3 DR3-103(A); [Rule 4 7.1]

Adv.-18

FORMAL OPINION 97

PERSONAL LEGAL CHECK-UPS

NOT IMPROPER OR UNETHICAL FOR MISSOURI BAR TO ENGAGE IN INSTITUTIONAL, DIGNIFIED, EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM RESPECTING VALUE OF CHECK-UP OF LEGAL AFFAIRS.

QUESTION: (1) Is it proper for Missouri Bar to sponsor Personal Legal Check-ups and for its members to participate therein?

(2) Interpret provisions of Missouri Supreme Court Rule 4.

ANSWER: (1) It is the opinion of the Advisory Committee that it is proper for the Missouri Bar to engage in institutional dignified and educational programs respecting the value of check-ups of legal affairs and for its members to participate therein so long as no fixed or suggested fee is mentioned in the dissemination of information with respect to such check-ups, the fee for which should in every instance be a contractual arrangement between the lawyer and his client so long as the Bar and its participating members duly observe the criteria laid down in Opinion No.307 issued by the American Bar Association as follows:

"There is nothing unethical in a bar association sponsoring and promoting annual legal check-up programs among the lay public. It may engage in a dignified institutional educational campaign so long as it does not involve the identification of a particular lawyer with the check-up program. Such educational material may point out the value of the annual legal check-up and may be printed in newspapers, magazines, pamphlets,and brochures, or produced by means of films, radio, television, or other media. The printed materials may be distributed in a dignified way through the offices of persons having close dealings with lawyers, as for example,banks, real estate agents, insurance agents and others. They may be available in lawyer's offices. The Bar association may prepare and distribute to lawyers materials and forms for use in the annual legal check-up.

"Lawyers as individuals may not ethically permit their names to be identified with such promotion. They may not point out the need for such a check-up to those who are not their regular clients, except by means of bar association sponsored pamphlets available in their offices for taking.They may direct attention (If their regular clients to the value of a check-up.

"A legal check-up program sponsored by the bar must be a program of information about a service. It should not be a program limited to members of the bar who agree to perform services for a limited fee. In fact, any mention in connection with its promotion of a specific or maximum fee would make the whole program ethically unsound."

(2) Rule 4 is not applicable in the opinion of the Advisory Committee to a legal check-up program, as it is applicable only to "Stirring up Litigation,Directly or Through Agents."

In the opinion of the Committee Rule 4 is applicable especially the following portion thereof, "But solicitation of business by circulars or advertisements, or by personal communications or interviews, not warranted by personal relations, is unprofessional."

Participation by the individual lawyer in the foregoing program with due observance of the criteria set out in the above quoted portion of A. B.A. Opinion No. 307 would not violate Missouri Supreme Court Rule 4.

[Rule 4 6.3; 7.3]

Adv.-19

FORMAL OPINION 101

ATTORNEYS

UNPROFESSIONAL FOR A MISSOURI LAWYER TO WRITE A GENERAL LETTER ON HIS PROFESSIONAL, STATIONERY SOLICITING FUNDS FOR CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS.

(Withdrawn 12/31/94).

Adv.-20

FORMAL OPINION 103

A MISSOURI LAWYER MAY NOT PROPERLY AND ETHICALLY INDICATE ON HIS LAW OFFICE LETTERHEAD, OFFICE SIGNOR PROFESSIONAL CARD HIS EARNED DEGREES OR TITLE DERIVED THEREFROM.

(Withdrawn 12/31/94).

Adv.-21

QUESTION: Can an attorney with expertise in regulation of rates and services of public utilities, railroads and motor carriers send out announcements to other attorneys announcing his availability to act as a consultant or associate counsel in these matters, under Rule 4, DR2-105(A) (3)?

ANSWER: Yes, rendered May 18, 1977.

[Rule 4 7.2; 7.4]

Adv.-22

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-23

QUESTION: Can an announcement be published of a free legal services system for the elderly at various senior citizens' centers in a major city? The legal assistance will be performed by law students under the supervision of a licensed Missouri attorney. The announcement should contain language which indicates that if the case is a fee-generating case, referral will be made to the Lawyer's Reference Service or to a private attorney of client's selection.

ANSWER: Yes. Rendered August 2, 1977.

[Rule 4 7.2]

Adv.-24

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-25

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-26

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-27

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-28

QUESTION:

a. May a Missouri attorney ethically participate as a participating attorney in a not for profit corporation to provide an open panel pre-paid legal service plan sponsored by The Missouri Bar?

b. What information can be included in a directory concerning each participating attorney, which will be given to beneficiaries of the program?

ANSWER:

a. The Advisory Committee of The Missouri Bar Administration believes that participation by Missouri attorneys in such a proposed open panel legal service plan is permissible under the provisions of DR2-103(D)(4), Rule 4 of the Supreme Court. The Committee further believes that the participating attorney can ethically pay the registration fee of $50.00 under the authority of DR2-103(C) of Rule 4, Supreme Court of Missouri.

b. The participating attorneys may be included in a directory which includes the following information:

1. His name, business address and telephone number.

2. His educational accomplishments, including schools attended and degrees earned.

3. A list of any law review articles or other publications he has authored.

4. His initial office consultation charge.

5. Any statements regarding the area of law the individual engages in should be in accord with the Addendum to DR2-101(B) (2) adopted by the Advisory Committee on November 18, 1977.

6. Any statements regarding fees for certain work should be in accordance with DR2-101(B) adopted by the Supreme Court on October 24,1977.

Rendered September 28, 1978.

[Rule 4 6.3; 7.1; 7.2; 7.4]

Adv.-29

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-30

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-31

A newly formed law firm submits an announcement card which lists the first name, address, telephone number, and names of partners. Included is the statement "for the practice of taxation law." Thereafter, it includes the statement, "Listing of the above area of practice does not indicate any certification of expertise therein."

QUESTION: Is this announcement proper under the terms of DR-2101(B) (2) and the Addendum thereof?

ANSWER: Yes. The Committee has concluded that the proposed announcement is proper under the cited provisions of the Code. In fact, the announcement could properly set out one of the areas of law as specified in the Addendum on an announcement card if the announcement card also includes the disclaimer statement required by the Addendum. Rendered December 8, 1978.

[Rule 4 7.4]

Adv.-32

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-33

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-34

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-35

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-36

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-37

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-38

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-39

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-40

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-41

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-42

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-43

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-44

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-45

QUESTION: Is there anything improper in an attorney being featured in a newsletter of a computer company for users of the equipment describing the use the attorney made of the equipment, providing that suchdescription does not contain any laudatory statements about the attorney or the capabilities of his office?

ANSWER: No. Rendered September 12, 1980.

Adv.-46

Law Firm A has developed a computer program which will identify, sort out and retrieve documents by use of a computer. The firm has received an offer from a computer software firm to purchase that computer program by means of royalties. The firm would use its paralegals to train paralegals in other firms on how the computer is used.

QUESTION: Are there any ethical problems created by this plan?

ANSWER: No. It is the opinion of the Committee that the plan as outlined presents no ethical problems. It is ethically permissible for the firm to allow the merchandising of its computer "software" which the firm has developed and also to provide training service by the firm's paralegals in the use of the program. Rendered November 7, 1980.

Adv.-47

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-48

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-49

(Opinion omitted. See Notes on Use.)

Adv.-50

INFORMAL OPINION 930075

QUESTION: Is letterhead acceptable which includes the office manager and paralegals or legal assistant?

ANSWER: Yes, as long as these individuals are clearly identified asnon-attorneys. A heading over the attorneys names showing them to beattorneys would be one approach. Another approach would be to include aheading " Non-attorneys" over the names of the non-attorney staff. Otherapproaches would also be possible.

[Rule 4 7.1]

Adv.-51

INFORMAL OPINION 930086

QUESTION: May attorney send a letter to potential business clientsindicating that attorney has experience in a particular area and offering tobe available to come to the business to be interviewed regarding experienceand qualifications.

ANSWER: Yes.

[Rule 4 7.3(a)]

Adv.-52

INFORMAL OPINION 930087

QUESTION: May attorney include membership in professional andfraternal organizations in advertising?

ANSWER: Yes. Special attention should be given to Rule 7.4 and thepossibility that specialization might be implied.

[Rule 4 7.1; 7.4]

Adv.-53

INFORMAL OPINION 930088

QUESTION: Attorney wishes to be cautious but would like to includeacademic degrees and practice areas on letterhead.

ANSWER: The letterhead, taken as a whole would imply specialization.Words modifying the practice areas such as "practice limited to" or "practiceemphasizing" would be an alternative to the disclaimer required by Rule 7.4.

[Rule 4 7.4]

Adv.-54

INFORMAL OPINION 930090

QUESTION: (1) May a lawyer enter into a direct contractual relationship with a potential client where the lawyer agrees to provide certainspecifically delineated legal services in return for payment of a regularmonthly retainer? (2) If yes, may a lawyer hire direct employees or contractwith an independent contractor to promote, market, and sell the plan? (3)May an employee be compensated with a salary and receive bonuses basedon performance? (4) May an independent contractor be used and paid on aflat fee or commission basis?

ANSWER: The answer to all questions is yes. Neither an employee noran independent contractor may be paid on the basis of the amount of feespaid to the attorney or billed by the attorney for legal services. Thatconduct would violate Rule 5.4, fee splitting with a non-lawyer.

[Rule 4 1.5; 5.4; 7.2(c)]



Adv.-55

INFORMAL OPINION 930102

QUESTION: (1) May attorney include her legal assistant on a brochureregarding her law practice? (2) May attorney name the practice using aplural noun when only one attorney is involved with the practice?

ANSWER: (1) The legal assistant may be included but, if the attorney'sclients to whom the brochure is directed would be unlikely to understandthat the legal assistant is a non-lawyer, the brochure should expresslyidentify the legal assistant as a non-lawyer. (2) No.

[Rule 4 7.1; 7.4]

Adv.-56

INFORMAL OPINION 930103

QUESTION: May attorney enter into a relationship with insuranceagents related to estate planning for clients of the insurance agents?

ANSWER: If the insurance agents are ONLY identifying a potentialneed for legal estate planning work and informing the client of their beliefthat the client would benefit from legal advice, it would not constitute theunauthorized practice of law. No further opinion can be given withoutspecific details of the proposed arrangement.

[Rule 4 5.4; 5.5; 7.2]

Adv.-57

INFORMAL OPINION 930106

QUESTION: Attorney enters into a relationship with a company whichmakes the initial contact with individuals regarding possible estateplanning. Estate planning documents are drafted by a lawyer employed bythe company outside Missouri. The documents and data are delivered to theattorney for review. The documents are delivered to the individual by arepresentative of the corporation.

ANSWER: The question does not provide enough specific informationfor an opinion. However, a number of rules may be involved depending onthe exact nature of the relationships and procedures followed. Theseinclude: Rule 1.7(b), Conflict of Interest: General Rule; Rule 5.4, Professional Independence of a Lawyer; Rule 5.5, Unauthorized Practice of Law;Rule 7.2(c) Advertising; and Rule 7.3(b), Direct Contact with ProspectiveClients.

[Rule 4 1.7(b); 5.4; 5.5; 7.2(c); 7.3(b)]

Adv.-58

INFORMAL OPINION 930112

QUESTION: A separate business would be established which wouldoffer will preparation to members of churches. If the church wants to makethe service available, it will announce it and schedule appointments. Acertain day will be set aside for appointments at the church. Clients willmeet privately with attorney and documents will be prepared and executed.Attorney will not be a part of the separate business but will be paid anhourly rate by the business for will preparation. The business would makedonations to the churches.

ANSWER: The arrangement would be contrary to one or more of theRules of Professional Conduct. Depending on the exact logistics of thearrangement, it could violate Rule 1.7, Conflict of Interest: General Rule;Rule 5.4, Professional Independence of a Lawyer; and Rule 7.3, DirectContact with Prospective Clients. The relationship and role of theindependent business creates many problems.

[Rule 4 1.7; 5.4; 7.3]

Adv.-59

INFORMAL OPINION 930124

QUESTION: May a general counsel's office within a corporation useletterhead with the name of the particular attorney and the office addresswithout identifying the corporation? The attorney will be identified as"Attorney at Law."

ANSWER: Yes.

[Rule 4 7.1]

Adv.-60

INFORMAL OPINION 930126

QUESTION: May attorney indicate on letterhead that attorney iscertified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy?

ANSWER: Yes, if attorney includes the disclaimer in Rule 7.4 that"neither the Supreme Court of Missouri nor The Missouri Bar reviews orapproves certifying organizations or specialist designations."

[Rule 4 7.4]

Adv.-61

INFORMAL OPINION 930139

QUESTION: Attorney would contact church leaders and offer toprepare wills for congregation members who meet with Attorney. Thechurch would communicate the availability of the service through generaloral or written announcements. No one-on-one solicitation would occur. Thechurch would schedule a time when interested persons would scheduleappointments for private consultation and will preparation. The churchmight charge a fee to Attorney for use of the facility. Fees would be paiddirectly to Attorney or Attorney's agent. No promise or expression ofintention to contribute to the church would be made by Attorney inadvance.

ANSWER: This program would not violate the Rules of ProfessionalConduct. It would not be a violation for Attorney to pay the church a feewhich is directly related to Attorney's use of the facilities.

[Rule 4 5.4; 7.3]

Adv.-62

INFORMAL OPINION 930146

QUESTION: May attorneys participate in a legal newspaper's programin which the attorney sponsors distribution of the newspaper to studentsfor educational purposes and receives some advertising as a part of theprogram.

ANSWER: Yes.

[Rule 4 7.2]

Adv.-63

INFORMAL OPINION 930147

QUESTION: May Attorney contract with a marketing firm to marketAttorney's services through contact, word of mouth, flyers and periodicals? The marketing firm would be paid based upon Attorney's gross revenues orthe number of calls made to an 800 number.

ANSWER: This arrangement would violate Rules 4-5.4(a) and 4-7.3(a).

[Rule 4 5.4(a); 7.3(a)]

Adv.-64

INFORMAL OPINION 930149

QUESTION: Attorney is president of a small corporation (not a lawfirm). Attorney does not provide legal representation to the corporation. Allof the records and business transactions of the corporation are keptseparate from Attorney's law practice. May Attorney have the executiveoffices of the corporation housed within Attorney's law offices? This wouldinclude notation on the door and the building directory as well as the officeaddress being listed on the corporation's letterhead.

ANSWER: Sharing space with another business is permitted but thetwo businesses must be maintained separately. The corporation must havea separate phone number answered for the business and not the law office.The files and other information must be separately maintained to ensureconfidentiality of information related to the law practice. The physicalarrangement should be one which enables clients of both businesses tounderstand that the businesses are separate. Also, aside from the executiveoffice question, Attorney should be very careful to take Attorney'srelationship to the corporation into account in Attorney's conflicts checkingsystem.

[Rule 4 1.6; 1.7; 7.1]

Adv.-65

INFORMAL OPINION 930150

QUESTION: Attorney is leaving the firm. Attorney has two lettersdrafted to send to clients. One letter for clients Attorney cannot representfurther because of conflicts in the new firm. The other letter gives clientsthe choice of going with Attorney, staying with old firm or choosing otherrepresentation. This letter indicates that Attorney is going with a new firm"specializing in" the same area of law.

ANSWER: The letters do not violate the rules. However, either thewords "specializing in" must be deleted or the Rule 4-7.4 disclaimer must beincluded. The words "practicing in" or other words which do not state orimply specialization could be used instead. The name of the new firm shouldbe included in the letter which offers the option to go with Attorney to thenew firm.

[Rule 4 1.16; 7.3; 7.4]

Adv.-66

INFORMAL OPINION 930151

QUESTION: Attorney proposes to send prospective clients a letterwhich states that Attorney "specializes" in automobile law. The letter wouldalso convey that people who have been injured in an automobile collisionshould consider hiring an experienced attorney. The letter would offer afree office conference and would indicate that the recipient may be eligiblefor healthcare without out of pocket expense.

ANSWER: The word "specializes" would require inclusion of the Rule4-7.4 disclaimer. Although healthcare without out of pocket expense maybe available from some sources, Attorney should be aware that Rule4-1.8(e) prohibits Attorney from advancing money to clients for expensesother than litigation expenses.

[Rule 4 1.8(e); 7.1; 7.3; 7.4]

Adv.-67

INFORMAL OPINION 930153

QUESTION: FACTUAL SITUATION 1: Attorney will purchaseinformation from a separate business obtained from police reports of trafficaccidents. Attorney will solicit prospective clients from this information, bymail only.

FACTUAL SITUATION 2: Attorney will be retained to representdrivers employed by a business in traffic ticket cases. Either the companyor the drivers will retain Attorney. Attorney would charge a flat monthlyfee per driver. Would this violate the rule on fees for months when a driverreceived

ANSWER: FACTUAL SITUATION 1: This would not, as a general rulebe a violation. However, special attention must be paid to Rule 4-7.3(c). Itseems particularly likely that Rule 4-7.3(c)(1) would apply to some accidentvictims.

FACTUAL SITUATION 2: This arrangement would not violate Rule4-1.5. However, if the employer pays the retainer fee, special attentionshould be paid to Rule 4-1.8(f).

[Rule 4 1.5; 1.8(f); 7.3]

Adv.-68

INFORMAL OPINION 930156

QUESTION: Attorney A and Attorney B share office space. AttorneyA represents clients in an adoption. Attorney B was appointed GAL whenA and B did not share offices. Attorney A and B ran a joint advertisementwith a general heading "law offices" and their joint address. Their individualnames and phone numbers also appeared. Is it a conflict for B to be theGAL?

ANSWER: Yes, the advertisement implies a relationship between theattorneys. Therefore, A and B will be treated as a firm for conflict ofinterest purposes, including imputed disqualification.

[Rule 4 1.7; 1.10; 7.5(f)]

Adv.-69

INFORMAL OPINION 930158

QUESTION: May Attorney use direct mail marketing to solicitprospective clients?

ANSWER: Yes, but the inquiry cannot end there. Rule 7.3(c) prohibitssuch communication under certain circumstances.

[Rule 4 7.3(c)]

Adv.-70

INFORMAL OPINION 930165

QUESTION: Attorney would hire a marketing firm to market theattorney's services, generally, and specifically directed to a certainoccupation. The marketing firm would be paid a set fee per month andwould be paid an additional per call fee on calls received each month relatedto the marketing efforts. The per call fee would be paid regardless ofwhether Attorney receives any legal business from the call.

ANSWER: This proposal would not violate the Rules of ProfessionalConduct as long as there is no direct personal or telephone solicitation.

[Rule 4 5.4; 7.2; 7.3]

Adv.-71

INFORMAL OPINION 930172

QUESTION: Attorney accepts referrals for estate planning frominsurance agents. Attorney is available in person or by telephone to answerlegal questions. The agent is not obligated to recommend Attorney. Theagent obtains basic estate planning information using a form and sends itto Attorney. Attorney is paid directly by the client and pays no part of thefee to the agent. Attorney reviews the information and contacts the client.Attorney prepares estate planning documents. Attorney gives thedocuments to the agent for delivery to the client. The agent assists theclient with execution and transfer of assets. Clients are told to contactAttorney with que

ANSWER: It appears the agent is engaging in in person solicitation onAttorney's behalf in violation of Rule 4-7.3(b). Based on a review of theforms, it appears legal advice would be needed to fill them out. Since theyare filled out by the agent and the client, it appears the agent is engaged inthe unauthorized practice of law and Attorney is violating Rule 4-5.5 byassisting the unauthorized practice. Because the agent does not have arelationship with Attorney and is not supervised by Attorney, giving thedocuments to the agent for delivery would create problems with confidentiality under Rule 4-1.6 and would further involve the unauthorized practiceof law.

[Rule 4 1.6; 5.5; 7.3(b)]

Adv.-72

INFORMAL OPINION 930174

QUESTION: May Attorney contact prospective clients in person or bytelephone and offer various fee arrangements?

ANSWER: No. Rule 4-7.3(b) allows personal solicitation in person or bytelephone only in three narrow situations. None of those situations applyto these prospective clients. Therefore, the direct contact would violate therule.

[Rule 4 7.3(b)]

Adv.-73

INFORMAL OPINION 940002

QUESTION: Attorney has questions about several situations. (1) Clientwould obtain trust documents from a company which customizes them forclient's financial advisor firm. Attorney would review the document andapprove it or suggest changes. (2) Attorney would be employed by thefinancial advisor firm and draft wills and trusts for its clients. (3) Financialadvisor firm refers clients to Attorney just as any friend or former clientmight. (4) The financial advisor company would advertise that it has anattorney to handle certain matters for its clients. (5) Financial advisorcompany sets up a legal department to handle the legal affairs of thecompany and the company's clients.

ANSWER: (1) This raises concerns that Attorney would be assisting inthe unauthorized practice of law in violation of Rule 5.5. Other problemsmay be raised if more details were provided. (2) This would involve assistingthe unauthorized practice of law. There may be violations of Rule 7.3(b)regarding in person solicitation. There could be other problems dependingon the specifics. (3) Referrals are acceptable as long as that is all that'sinvolved. No relationship other than that of attorney and client should exist.Rule 7.2(c) prohibits a lawyer from giving anything of value in exchange fora referral. (4) This would involve assisting the unauthorized practice oflaw. (5) This would be the unauthorized practice of law.

[Rule 4 5.5; 7.2(c); 7.3(b)]

Adv.-74

INFORMAL OPINION 940023

QUESTION: Attorney has left a firm. May Attorney contact the clientsof the firm who were Attorney's primary responsibility and inform themthat Attorney has left the firm and the client may come with Attorney, staywith the firm or go with any other attorney? May Attorney comment on thelack of experience of the remaining members of the firm in Attorney'spractice area?

ANSWER: Attorney may notify the clients of their options. Rule4-7.1(d) would apply to comments regarding the experience of theremaining members of the firm. If the clients ask about Attorney's qualifications or the qualifications of the remaining members of the firm,Attorney may make factual statements which can be substantiated.

[Rule 4 1.16; 7.1(d)]

Adv.-75

INFORMAL OPINION 940024

QUESTION: Question 1. May Attorney and a financial planner have an agreement that they will recommend each other if no exchange of fees is involved?

QUESTION 2. May Attorney generally distribute cards and imprinted pens through Welcome Wagon baskets?

ANSWER: Question 1. Not if Attorney and financial planner agree to recommend each other exclusively. This kind of exclusive arrangement would involve giving something of value in exchange for referrals in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c). It would also involve personal solicitation in violation of Rule 4-7.3(b). However, if each merely expresses a willingness to accept referrals without any obligation on the part of either person, no violation would occur.

QUESTION 2. Yes.

[Rule 4 7.2(a); 7.2(c); 7.3(b)]

Adv.-76

INFORMAL OPINION 940035

QUESTION: May Attorney's name be included in the firm name of a professional corporation if Attorney is issued non-voting common stock or preferred stock?

ANSWER: Neither of the circumstances described would violate Rule 4-7.5.

[Rule 4 7.5]

Adv.-77

INFORMAL OPINION 940036

QUESTION: Are there rule violations if: (1) a lay company prepares estate planning documents including living trusts and wills; (2) an independent contractor, who is not an attorney, makes the documents available to clients, takes the information from the clients, explains and recommends the documents to the clients and submits the information to the lay company; (3) the lay company prepares a set of documents which are returned to the client; (4) the client pays the independent contractor at the time of the sale and also writes a check for an attorney who works with the lay company; (5) an attorney receives the drafted living trust and prepares an opinion letter which is sent to the client; (6) the attorney does not give an opinion on the will and may or may not prepare documents to fund the living trust.

ANSWER: (1) This would constitute the unauthorized practice of law.(2) and (3) Each would be engaging in the unauthorized practice of law and aiding and abetting the other in the unauthorized practice of law. (4), (5)and (6) This would be the unauthorized practice of law and assisting the unauthorized practice of law by the lay company and the independent contractor. It would be assisting the unauthorized practice by the attorney.The attorney would also be violating Rules 4-5.4 and 4-7.3(b) as a result of the solicitation.

[Rule 4 5.4; 5.5; 7.3(b)]

Adv.-78

INFORMAL OPINION 940039

QUESTION: Attorney has not changed her name since she got married a number of years ago. Attorney now wishes to change her name but wants to continue to use her current name professionally.

ANSWER: As long as Attorney maintains the same name in all aspects of her professional practice, it would not violate the rules. Attorney should be certain that she uses the same name on all pleadings and professional correspondence and in all advertising. Attorney should also make certain that the name used for her professional name is the name on file with the Missouri Supreme Court, The Missouri Bar and this office.

[Rule 4 7.1; 8.4(c)]

Adv.-79

INFORMAL OPINION 940048

QUESTION: Attorney plans to convert the law practice to a professional corporation from a sole proprietorship. Attorney would like to continue to use Attorney's name without the designation "P.C." on the letterhead and advertising. Attorney would register Attorney's individual name as a fictitious name.

ANSWER: This would violate Rules 4-7.1 and 4-7.5(f) in light of the requirement of section 356.071, RSMo 1994.

[Rule 4 7.1; 7.5(f); § 356.071]

Adv.-80

INFORMAL OPINION 940052

QUESTION: Attorney is a member of one firm and will be "of counsel"to another firm. The two firms share office space and some equipment,otherwise they are separate. Does this violate the Rules of Professional Conduct?

ANSWER: In order to avoid violating Rule 4-7.1 attorney would need to identify both firms with which the attorney is connected on each firm's letterhead and other forms of communication to the public and other law firms. The two firms will be considered as one for conflicts purposes.

[Rule 4 1.10; 7.1]

Adv.-81

INFORMAL OPINION 940055

QUESTION: Attorney would participate in a living trust program run by a separate company. Non-attorneys who are not under the supervision of an attorney would contact the clients and gather information to prepare the living trust and would obtain a check for the company and a check for the attorney. Attorney would be a review attorney for documents sent by the company and advising the company of any changes needed to comply with Missouri law. Attorney will be compensated by the clients at a rate set by the company. Attorney is encouraged to make direct contact with the clients. Attorney will send the approved trust document or recommendations to the company. The company will send the final document to the client.

ANSWER: This program would violate the following rules within Rule 4: 1.6, 1.7(b), 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 7.3(b) and 8.4(a).

[Rule 4 1.6; 1.7(b); 5.3; 5.4; 5.5; 7.3(b); 8.4(a)]

Adv.-82

INFORMAL OPINION 940056

QUESTION: Attorney is in a firm which has had several members with the same last name. The firm name has been Last name & Last name. One of the other members is deceased and another has left the firm. Attorney is now the only attorney in the firm. May Attorney continue to use this firm name and show the deceased member as deceased on the letterhead?

ANSWER: Yes.

[Rule 4 7.1; 7.5]

Adv.-83

INFORMAL OPINION 940068

QUESTION: Situation 1. Attorney would participate in free public seminars on legal topics with a financial planner. A fee would be paid to a marketing company to invite people to attend by telephone. Would this violate the rules? Situation 2. Attorney would pay a radio station for advertising free seminars. The amount paid would depend upon the number of people who actually attend the seminar without any connection to whether they actually hired Attorney or financial planner for services.

ANSWER: Situation 1. This raises issues of personal solicitation under Rule 4-7.3(b). Solicitation of the attendees at the seminar would also violate that rule. Situation 2. This would not violate the Rules of Professional Conduct.

[Rule 4 7; 7.3(b)]

Adv.-84

INFORMAL OPINION 940071

QUESTION: Attorney plans to put on a free seminar on various legal issues. Attorney will advertise this seminar in the local newspaper.

ANSWER: This will not violate the Rules of Professional Conduct.However, under Rule 4-7.3(b), Attorney should be certain not to engage in solicitation during the seminar.

[Rule 4 7.3]

Adv.-85

INFORMAL OPINION 940072

QUESTION: Several attorneys wish to form a partnership. Within the partnership will be professional corporations and limited liability companies.(1) May the letterhead only reflect the partnership name without referencing the professional corporations or limited liability companies? (2) Would it be OK if the partnership name is used and the professional corporations and limited liability companies are otherwise identified on the letterhead?(3) May a law firm be a limited liability company?

ANSWER: (1) No. (2) Yes. (3) Yes.

[Rule 4 5.4; 7.1; 7.5; 9.1]

Adv.-86

INFORMAL OPINION 940075

QUESTION: Attorney requests reconsideration of Informal Opinion 940005 in which the question was: Attorney would be a partner in two firms. Attorney would not do the same type of work in both firms. The answer was: This would be a violation of the rules because Attorney would have conflicts from both firms. Attorney's clients would not be aware of all of the conflict situations which could involve the other firm.

ANSWER: The relationship is permissible. However, in order to avoid violating Rule 4-7.1, it would be necessary for Attorney to identify both firms on each firm's letterhead and other forms of communication to the public and other law firms. The firms must be considered as one for conflicts purposes.

[Rule 4 7.1; 7.5]

Adv.-87

INFORMAL OPINION 940090

QUESTION: Attorney submits a brochure and asks whether it would violate the Rules. Attorney also asks whether it would be permissible to distribute the brochure to clients who come to the office and to people who would pick them up at other places of business.

ANSWER: The particular brochure submitted does not violate the Rules. However, this opinion does not address possible uses of the brochure. For example, the brochure could not be used as a tool for "in-person" solicitation prohibited by Rule 4-7.3(b). It would be permissible to distribute the brochure as described as long as Attorney gives nothing of value to the other businesses for distributing the brochure. Giving something of value would violate Rule 4-7.2(c).

[Rule 4 7.1; 7.2(c); 7.3(b)]