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ADVERTISING

1996 SUPPLEMENT

Adv.-88

INFORMAL OPINION 940109

QUESTION: Attorney asks several questions about soliciting prospective clients.

1. Attorney solicits in person for another type of business,recommends the person consult an attorney and later mails a letter to the person offering Attorney's services.

2. Attorney primarily works in a business which is not a law firm. Another person in that field refers a person needing legal services to Attorney.

3. Attorney primarily works as an employee in a business which is not a law firm. Another employee in that business refers a person needing legal services to Attorney.

4. Attorney primarily practices law. Attorney works on salary for a non-law firm company. An employee of the company refers a person to Attorney for personal legal work. Attorney provides notice under Rule 4-1.8. Attorney does not charge a fee but the company does.

5. Attorney primarily works as a partner in a business which is not a law firm. Another partner in that business refers a person needing legal services to Attorney. The legal fee does not go to the partnership.

6. Attorney primarily works as a partner in a business which is not a law firm. Another partner in that business advises a person to see an attorney. Attorney subsequently contacts the person by telephone or mail and gives full disclosure.

ANSWER:

1. Violates 4-7.3(b).

2. This would not violate the rules. Attorney must keep the law practice separate from the business and must not give anything of value for the referral.

3. Violates 4-7.3(b).

4. Violates 4-5.4 and 4-7.3(b).

5. Violates 4-7.3(b) plus law practice must be kept completely separate from other business.

6. Contact by telephone would violate 4-7.3(b). Contact by mail would not violate the rules as long as none of the exceptions in 4-7.3(c) apply to the situation. The law practice would have to bekept completely separate from the other business.

[Rule 4 -- 7.3]

Adv.-89

INFORMAL OPINION 940118

QUESTION: Attorney would use an advertising firm to do direct marketing. Attorney would draft a form letter for each type of case. The advertising firm would use the form letter, a database of information obtained from police reports and a facsimile signature of Attorney to do direct mailings to prospective clients.

ANSWER: Although direct mailing is authorized under Rule 4-7.3(a), Attorney must make the determination that none of the exceptions found in Rule 4-7.3(c) apply to the situation. Attorney also must supervise any non-lawyers who are acting as Attorney's agents under Rule 4-5.3. This system would inherently violate both of those rules.

[Rule 4 -- 5.3; 7.3]

Adv.-90

INFORMAL OPINION 940128

QUESTION:

1. Must Attorney make a determination of the recipient's mental state for radio and television advertising as is required of targeted direct mail advertising?

2. Attorney represents an insurance company. May Attorney directly contact the opposing party to negotiate settlement?

ANSWER:

1. The determination of mental state is required by Rule 4-7.3(c) for targeted mailings under Rule 4-7.3(a) and in person solicitation (when in person solicitation is permitted by Rule 4-7.3(b)).General advertising is governed by Rule 7.2 which does not contain this requirement.

2. Regardless of whom Attorney represents, Rule 4-4.2 prohibits direct contact with a represented person regarding the subject of the representation.

[Rule 4 -- 7.2; 7.3; 4.2]

Adv.-91

INFORMAL OPINION 940132

QUESTION: Attorney is an occasional consultant for another attorney. Must Attorney's name be included in the other attorney's advertisement?

ANSWER: No. Neither Attorney nor Attorney's firm need be identified. As an occasional consultant, the other attorney would have to seek the client's consent and ascertain that there are no conflicts before bringing Attorney in on a matter.

[Rule 4 -- 7.1]

Adv.-92

INFORMAL OPINION 940135

QUESTION: Attorney has been asked to provide a testimonial for a person in another business. Attorney has had a few dealings with this person but has never been a customer or client of this person. Attorney will not have any control over how the testimonial is used. Attorney hopes this person will refer clients to Attorney if Attorney gives the testimonial.

ANSWER: Because of the potential for this communication to be misleading, it may violate Rule 4-8.4(c). The danger is particularly acute in a situation such as this in which Attorney has no control over the manner in which the statements are used. Additionally, this situation would involve giving something of value for referrals in violation of Rule 4-7.2(c).

[Rule 4 -- 8.4(c); 7.2(c)]

Adv.-93

INFORMAL OPINION 940136

QUESTION: Attorney proposes to offer a free seminar to provide information about estate planning. Attorney will describe the fee schedule and offer a free one hour consultation only to those who attend the seminar.

ANSWER: Attorney may offer a free seminar but Attorney may not solicit during the seminar. Such solicitation would violate Rule 4-7.3(b). Attorney may advertise a free one hour consultation but may not limit it to those who attend the seminar.

[Rule 4 -- 7.3(b)]

Adv.-94

INFORMAL OPINION 940141

QUESTION: May Attorney call businesses of a certain type and offer to send a firm resume? Attorney has had no relationship with these businesses in the past.

ANSWER: Rule 4-7.3(b) permits solicitation by personal contact only in the limited circumstances found in Rule 4-7.3(b)(1)-(3). Therefore, the telephone contact with these companies would be prohibited.

[Rule 4 -- 7.3]

Adv.-95

INFORMAL OPINION 940146

QUESTION:

(1) Must Attorney include the disclaimer language in the new versions of Rules 4-7.2 and 4-7.3 regarding contingent fee cases even if Attorney never charges costs or expenses to the client if thecase is lost?

(2) If Attorney must include the disclaimer, may Attorney also explain that the disclaimer is required but Attorney will not charge costs and expenses?

ANSWER:

(1) Yes.

(2) Yes.

[Rule 4 -- 7.2; 7.3]

Adv.-96

INFORMAL OPINION 940151

QUESTION: May Attorney allow the law firm's staff to use business cards?

ANSWER: Yes, if they are truthful and not misleading.

[Rule 4 -- 7.1]

Adv.-97

INFORMAL OPINION 940156

QUESTION: Attorney has a professional corporation. Attorney will register a fictitious trade name for the professional corporation.Attorney wants to use both names in advertising and only the trade name on letterhead.

ANSWER: In order to avoid violating Rule 4-7.1, Attorney would have to use the trade name and the professional corporation name on letterhead as well as in advertising.

[Rule 4 -- 7.1]

Adv.-98

INFORMAL OPINION 940160

QUESTION: Attorney plans to send direct mailings to former estate planning clients regarding the need to update the estate plan in light of recent developments. Will this trigger the disclaimer requirement regarding solicitation of prospective clients under the provisions of Rule 4-7.3 that became effective 1/1/95?

ANSWER: No, as long as Attorney is following up on previous representation on the same matter. However, the disclaimer requirement might apply regarding contacting a former client in another situation. The question is one that would depend on the circumstances.

[Rule 4 -- 7.3]

Adv.-99

INFORMAL OPINION 940182

QUESTION: Attorney wishes to be listed in a directory published by an association of businesses. The directory will identify Attorney's area(s) of practice but will not indicate that these are specialties. Attorney will pay for the listing but the listing will not indicate endorsement by the association.

ANSWER: The format is acceptable. Acceptability of content will depend on each attorney's advertisement.

[Rule 4 -- 7.2; 7.4]

Adv.-100

INFORMAL OPINION 940183

QUESTION: Attorney has written a book for the public regarding a legal subject. Attorney plans to send a letter to individuals offering the book for free. Is the letter or the actual distribution of the book advertising? Must the letter include the"advertising" disclaimer in the new version of the solicitation rule(Rule 4-7.3)?

ANSWER: Both are advertising. The disclaimer need not be included unless they are sent to "persons known to need legal services of the kind provided by the lawyer in a particular matter"within the meaning of Rule 4-7.3(a).

[Rule 4 -- 7.2; 7.3]

Adv.-101

INFORMAL OPINION 940187

QUESTION: Attorney submits several types of advertising materials and asks whether they fall within the provisions of the new versions of Rules 4-7.2 and 4-7.3. The materials submitted include an announcement, brochures regarding seminars, cover letters with brochures, newsletters, and firm resumes. Attorney also asks whether letters describing the attorneys and the firm that are sent at the request of the prospective client fall within these rules.

ANSWER: All of the materials submitted are advertising materials and fall within the provisions of either Rule 4-7.2 or 4-7.3. If any of these materials contain language indicating that cases will be accepted on a contingent fee basis, they would have to include the applicable disclaimer. The materials submitted would not fall within the solicitation rule (Rule 4-7.3) and would not require the"ADVERTISING" disclaimer unless the recipient is a "person known to need legal services of the kind provided by the lawyer in a particular matter." Information sent at the request of a prospective client does not fall within the advertising rules.

[Rule 4 -- 7.2; 7.3]

Adv.-102

INFORMAL OPINION 940197

QUESTION: Attorney is a former judge who is returning to the practice of law. May Attorney indicate Attorney's status as a retired judge on business cards, letterhead, etc.?

ANSWER: Yes, however this office cannot give an opinion regarding the Code of Judicial Conduct. Attorney should contact the judicial commission for an opinion from that perspective.

[Rule 4 -- 7.1]

Adv.-103

INFORMAL OPINION 940204

QUESTION: A financial planner will make referrals to Attorney.Attorney will not give anything of value to the financial planner for the referrals. The financial planner offers to have Attorney call the client.

ANSWER: The referral does not create a problem under Rule 4-7.2(c). Under Rule 4-7.3(b), after the financial planner makes the referral to Attorney, the client should initiate the contact with Attorney.

[Rule 4 -- 7.2; 7.3]

Adv.-104

INFORMAL OPINION 940207

QUESTION: Attorney represents clients on a contingent fee basis in cases, including Social Security cases. Social Security law prohibits attorneys from seeking reimbursement of expenses when there is no recovery.

(1) Does Attorney have to include the disclaimer language of the new version of Rule 4-7.2 in advertisements or will a statement regarding the provision of Social Security law suffice?

(2) May attorney further explain in the advertisement that the Rule 4-7.2 disclaimer is required but that Attorney's clients will not be responsible for expenses if they are not successful?

ANSWER:

(1) The disclaimer required by Rule 4-7.2 must be included in Attorney's advertisements despite the fact that Attorney will not hold the client responsible for these expenses. Attorney may, additionally,include a statement regarding the provision of Social Security law.

(2) Yes.

[Rule 4 -- 7.2]

Adv.-105

INFORMAL OPINION 950005

QUESTION: Attorney proposes to send a general newsletter to clients and prospective clients. The newsletter would be informative in nature and summarize current changes in the law. Is this advertising under Rules 4-7.2 and 4-7.3?

ANSWER: The newsletters would be advertising under Rule 4-7.2. Unless the newsletters dealt with an individual prospective client or an individual situation involving a prospective client, they would not be considered advertising for purposes of Rule 4-7.3. The"contingent fee" disclaimer would have to be included, if applicable. The "advertising" disclaimer would not be necessary unless the newsletters were targeted.

[Rule 4 -- 7.2; 7.3]

Adv.-106

INFORMAL OPINION 950019

QUESTION: Attorney proposes specific language for an advertisement. Attorney will indicate that Attorney will handle personal injury cases and that there is no fee for a consultation.Attorney does not mention accepting cases on a contingency fee basis although Attorney will do so.

ANSWER: Attorney need not include the "contingency fee"disclaimer of Rule 4-7.2, if the advertisement does not reference a contingency fee or words to that effect.

[Rule 4 -- 7.1; 7.2]

Adv.-107

INFORMAL OPINION 950022

QUESTION: May Attorney form a general business corporation that will not practice law but which will practice in a related area and which will solicit clients for Attorney?

ANSWER: The general business corporation would be engaging in "in person" solicitation prohibited by Rule 4-7.3(b) anytime it made a referral to Attorney. If a client of Attorney developed a need for services such as those provided by the general business corporation, Attorney could only refer the client to the wholly-owned corporation after making full disclosure of the relationship between the corporation and the firm and making it clear to the client that the client has the option to obtain the services from any source of the client's choosing. Additionally, this situation raises issues of confidentiality. If Attorney does form such a corporation, Attorney must realize that it is a completely separate entity and that confidentiality of information relating to the law firm's clients must be strictly maintained.

[Rule 4 -- 7.3; 1.7; 1.6]

Adv.-108

INFORMAL OPINION 950026

QUESTION: Attorney owns an interest in Corporation A.Attorney and Corporation A will share a suite of offices. Corporation A will be operated completely separately and with proper designation. Attorney will only minimally be involved in the day today operation of the corporation. Attorney B who also owns an interest will be involved in the day to day operation and will also share the office space.

ANSWER: This arrangement would not violate Rule 4-5.4. The attorneys would have to make full disclosure any time they would refer a client to the corporation. Additionally, it would constitute prohibited "in person" solicitation for the corporation to make referrals to either attorney. The attorneys must also make certain that all information related to their clients is secure from access by anyone who shares space in the suite of offices who is not part of the attorney's firm.

[Rule 4 -- 5.4; 1.7; 7.3]

Adv.-109

INFORMAL OPINION 950027

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 atool 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; 7.3]

Adv.-110

INFORMAL OPINION 950032

QUESTION: Attorney proposes to use an advertisement which includes the phrase "Sign up at seminar for free living will." The advertisement will also describe living trusts as "revolutionary" and"risk-free."

ANSWER: The phrase about signing up for a free living will does not violate the rules but indicates that there is a concern about the possibility that "in person" solicitation in violation of Rule 4-7.3(b) may occur at the seminar. The use of the words"revolutionary" and "risk-free" in connection with living trusts raises concerns. Living trusts have been in use for many years and have been quite popular estate planning tools for several years.Therefore, the accuracy of the word "revolutionary" is doubtful. The term "risk-free" could be interpreted as indicating that a living trust is right for everyone, will never have adverse consequences and cannot be challenged. The accuracy of this term is also doubtful.

[Rule 4 -- 7.1; 7.3(b)]

Adv.-111

INFORMAL OPINION 950035

QUESTION: May the law firm display the firm's initials on signs,napkins, cups, business cards, stationery, etc.?

ANSWER: Yes.

[Rule 4 -- 7.2]

Adv.-112

INFORMAL OPINION 950043

QUESTION: May Attorney pay a not-for-profit attorney referralservice a fee which is a percentage of the attorney's fees collectedon a case referred to Attorney by that referral service?

ANSWER: Yes, Rule 4-7.2(c) authorizes payment of "the usualcharges of a not-for-profit lawyer referral service or other legalservice organization."

[Rule 4 -- 7.2(c); 5.4(a)]

Adv.-113

INFORMAL OPINION 950053

QUESTION: Attorney submits a proposed advertisement. ANSWER: The claims that Attorney has defended clientsagainst "unjust" claims is probably not readily verifiable as requiredby Rule 4-7.1(e). The general statement of "over [$X] recovered indamages" is usually considered to violate Rule 4-7.1(c) by creatingan unjustified expectation in light of the fact that the overalldamages figure does not relate to any specific case. Otherwise theadvertisement is acceptable assuming it is truthful and notmisleading and is readily susceptible to verification.

[Rule 4 -- 7.1]

Adv.-114

INFORMAL OPINION 950069

QUESTION: Attorney would like to withdraw from the firm andpractice from home. May Attorney use the firm's letterhead? MayAttorney use Attorney's home address?

ANSWER: Attorney may withdraw as a partner in the firm andpractice from a home office. However, Attorney may not use thefirm's letterhead unless Attorney maintains an active relationshipwith the firm and the firm is actually Attorney's practice location. IfAttorney completely withdraws from the firm and practices from thehome, Attorney must use the home address on letterhead. Attorneycould also use a post office box and put that address on theletterhead.

[Rule 4 -- 7.5; 7.1]

Adv.-115

INFORMAL OPINION 950097

QUESTION: The firm is contemplating setting up a subsidiarylaw firm that would practice exclusively in a particular area of thelaw. The subsidiary would be a separate entity with a differentname, address and management. All profits would flow through tothe parent firm. The lawyers working for the subsidiary would holdthemselves out as employees of the subsidiary, not the parent.

ANSWER: The arrangement would not violate any provisionof the Rules of Professional Conduct. However, all communicationsabout each firm, would have to disclose the relationship with theother firm. Additionally, all conflicts of interest of each firm would beconsidered conflicts of both firms.

[Rule 4 -- 1.7; 7.1]

Adv.-116

INFORMAL OPINION 950106

QUESTION: Attorney asks for clarification of informal opinion940118 indicating that Attorney may not delegate thedetermination regarding whether an intended recipient of a directmail solicitation is in a mental, physical or emotional state thatmakes it unlikely the person will exercise reasonable judgment inemploying a lawyer. May Attorney make that determination whilespeaking with the person on the telephone or in person after theperson responds to the direct mail solicitation?

ANSWER: No, under Rule 4-7.3(c)(1) Attorney must make thedetermination regarding the recipient's physical, emotional ormental state before Attorney initiates any communication.

[Rule 4 -- 7.3]

Adv.-117

INFORMAL OPINION 950115

QUESTION: A life insurance agent advertises to get individ-uals to attend an estate planning seminar. Attorney makes apresentation at the seminar on estate planning. The life insuranceagent makes a presentation on life insurance. What duty doesAttorney have with regard to monitoring or directing the content ofthe life insurance agent's advertising? May Attorney hire the lifeinsurance agent for the purpose of assisting a client in funding aliving trust? ANSWER: Before participating in the seminar, Attorneyhas a duty to ascertain that the insurance agent's advertising is notfalse, misleading or deceptive. Hiring the insurance agent, for thepurpose indicated, would not involve an ethical violation as long asthe client is fully informed of the relationship and consents, theagents duties are limited to non-legal responsibilities, and the agentdoes not engage in any other activity that the attorney would beprohibited from engaging in under the Rules of ProfessionalConduct.

[Rule 4 -- 1.6; 7.2; 7.3]

Adv.-118 (See also Adv.-131)

INFORMAL OPINION 950120

QUESTION: Attorney, Pat Doe, will be a sole practitioner.Attorney would like to practice under the name The Doe Law Firm. ANSWER: It would be misleading, and therefore prohibitedby Rule 4-7.1 for Attorney to use the word "firm" when Attorney is asole practitioner. The dictionaries consulted universally define "firm"as relating to two or more people.

[Rule 4 -- 7.1]

Adv.-119

INFORMAL OPINION 950127

QUESTION: Attorney proposes to send a letter to peopleassociated with a particular charitable organization reminding theaddressees of the importance of having a will and of estateplanning, in general. The letter will be on Attorney's letterhead andwill include an informational brochure regarding estate planningprepared by the charitable organization. May Attorney send thisletter?

ANSWER: The proposed letter would constitute a solicitationunder Rule 4-7.3(a). Under that rule, the letter must contain thefollowing statement in conspicuous print: ADVERTISING MATERIAL:COMMERCIAL SOLICITATIONS ARE PERMITTED BY THE MISSOURI RULESOF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT BUT ARE NEITHER SUBMITTED TO NORAPPROVED BY THE MISSOURI BAR OR THE SUPREME COURT OFMISSOURI. Other than the need to include this disclaimer, it does notappear that the proposed letter would violate any provision of therules.

[Rule 4 -- 7.3]

Adv.-120

INFORMAL OPINION 950136

QUESTION: Attorney submits a proposed direct mailsolicitation form letter with questions about the appropriateness ofcertain language.

ANSWER: The letter says that few people are compensatedas they should be. The letter also says that clients can usually netmore by using an attorney than dealing directly with the adjuster.These statements must be subject to ready verification by the publicor they will violate Rule 4-7.1. If Attorney does not maintain a sourceof verification of these statements which Attorney makes availableto the public, Attorney would be violating this rule. Additionally, thestatement that "You are entitled to fair compensation." does nottake into account the question of liability, and therefore may bemisleading and may create an unjustified expectation of results. Theletter fails to include the statement that the client may beresponsible for costs or expenses. Rule 4-7.3(d) requires aconspicuous statement to that effect that notifies the recipient ofthe advertising that they may be responsible for costs and expensesregardless of the outcome. The letter contains the statement that "Iwill be personally responsible for the performance of this legalservice for you." If Attorney is indicating only that Attorney will besupervising any other attorney who performs these services, thestatement is misleading. If Attorney means that Attorney willpersonally handle the case, that eliminates the concerns.

[Rule 4 -- 7.1]

Adv.-121

INFORMAL OPINION 950138

QUESTION: Attorney will incorporate under the name of "LawOffice of Pat Doe." The firm of which Attorney was previously amember was "Red, Green, Roe and Doe." Red and Green weremembers of the firm at the time of their deaths. Roe was a memberof the firm at the time Roe became a judge. May Attorney refer tothese members of the previous firm on Attorney's letterhead? MayAttorney refer to this firm as "established in 19XX" which is the yearthat the first member of the predecessor firm began practice?

ANSWER: No. The references would violate Rule 4-7.1 and4-7.5

[Rule 4 -- 7.1; 7.5]

Adv.-122

INFORMAL OPINION 950140

QUESTION: Attorney is associated with a business as anadvisor and officer. May Attorney be listed as "of counsel?"

ANSWER: It would be permissible for Attorney to be identifiedas counsel for the business, as long as Attorney is, in fact, serving inthat capacity. The use of the phrase "of counsel" would not beappropriate since that phrase normally indicates a relationship witha law firm. Use of that terminology would be misleading because itwould give the impression that the business is a law firm.

[Rule 4 -- 7.1]

Adv.-123

INFORMAL OPINION 950142

QUESTION: Attorney recently changed firms and wants tonotify former clients, whom Attorney is not currently representing, ofthe change in firms. Must Attorney include the "advertising material"disclaimer of Rule 4-7.3 in the notice?

ANSWER: Attorney may notify Attorney's former clients of thechange of firms in the form of a letter or announcement withoutincluding the "advertising material" language of Rule 4-7.3, unlessAttorney also addresses a particular matter in which Attorney knowsthat former client is involved. As long as it is just a generalannouncement or letter, the "advertising material" language neednot be included.

[Rule 4 -- 7.3]

Adv.-124

INFORMAL OPINION 950145

QUESTION: Attorney asks about entering into a relationshipwith an insurance agent in which the insurance agent would haveclients fill out an information sheet if they believe they need a will.The insurance agent would send the form to Attorney who wouldprepare a will and have the clients come in to execute it. No feeswould be split with the insurance agent and nothing of value wouldbe given to the insurance agent for the referral. The insuranceagent would provide a price list of Attorney's services.

ANSWER: The arrangement proposed would involveimproper solicitation, breach of confidentiality or both. In personsolicitation is prohibited by Rule 4-7.3(b). If the insurance agent isacting as Attorney's agent, in person solicitation would occur. If theinsurance agent is independent, Attorney would be asking someonewho is not Attorney's representative to gather confidentialinformation from Attorney's clients on Attorney's behalf in violationof Rule 4-1.6. Additionally, if the insurance agent is the one who isdetermining what specific type of estate planning the individualneeds, the insurance agent would be engaging in the unauthorizedpractice of law and Attorney would be assisting in that activity inviolation of Rule 4-5.5(b). Depending on other details of thearrangement, other rules may also be involved. Attorney would notbe violating the rules if the insurance agent merely refers thepotential client to Attorney for general estate planning, leaving it toAttorney to determine, in consultation with the clients, the specifictype of estate planning the clients need. This situation could notinvolve any fee splitting or referral fee.

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

Adv.-125

INFORMAL OPINION 950146

QUESTION: Attorney would like to establish a program inwhich Attorney would credit a client a small amount if that clientrefers a new client to Attorney.

ANSWER: The program described would violate Rule 4-7.2(c),which prohibits a lawyer from giving anything of value in exchangefor recommending the lawyer's services.

[Rule 4 -- 7.2(c)]

Adv.-126

INFORMAL OPINION 950155

QUESTION: Attorney asks about participating in a credit cardprogram which refers customers to member merchants. The membermerchant pays a fee of twenty percent for participation.

ANSWER: Based upon the information provided, Attorneywould violate Rules 4-5.4(a) and 4-7.2(c), as a participatingmerchant in the program. Rule 4-5.4(a) prohibits fee splitting with anon-lawyer and Rule 4-7.2(c) prohibits an attorney from givinganything of value in exchange for a referral.

[Rule 4 -- 7.2(c); 5.4(a)]

Adv.-127

INFORMAL OPINION 950172

QUESTION: Attorney proposes to run an investigation businesscompletely separate from the law practice. The investigationbusiness would only handle cases of a type other than any typeAttorney handles in Attorney's law practice.

ANSWER: Attorney may run the two businesses if Attorneykeeps them completely separate. Attorney's status as an attorneymay be disclosed in connection with the investigation business.Attorney may not use the investigation business to provide referralsto the law practice because this would amount to in personsolicitation prohibited by Rule 4-7.3(b). Also, Attorney will have toconsider any conflicts of either business to be conflicts of the otherbusiness.

[Rule 4 -- 7.3]

Adv.-128

INFORMAL OPINION 950188

QUESTION: Attorney proposes to send a letter to prospectivemembers of a class in a class action suit. Attorney would advise therecipients of the suit and of Attorney's availability to discuss thesituation.

ANSWER: Attorney must include the "ADVERTISING" disclaimerfound in Rule 4-7.3. Attorney should also be cautious in saying thatAttorney has filed a class action lawsuit. If the class has not yet beencertified, Attorney should modify the language to reflect that fact.

[Rule 4 -- 7.3]

Adv.-129

INFORMAL OPINION 950210

QUESTION: Attorney would participate in a program in whichAttorney would pay a certain amount to a for profit company thatwould refer to Attorney clients who call an 800 number. MayAttorney participate in this program?

ANSWER: Attorney's participation in the program wouldviolate Rule 4-7.2(c).

[Rule 4 -- 7.2(c)]

Adv.-130

INFORMAL OPINION 950216

QUESTION: Attorney proposes to send a brochure which onlyprovides general information about the firm to prospective clients.Must Attorney include the "ADVERTISING" disclaimer of Rule 4-7.3(a)?

ANSWER: Attorney will not be required to include the"ADVERTISING" disclaimer of Rule 4-7.3(a) if Attorney sends Attorney'sfirm brochure to prospective clients. However, if the brochure isaccompanied by any other communication which references aparticular type of matter in which the prospective client is believedto need legal assistance, Attorney would have to include thedisclaimer in that communication.

[Rule 4 -- 7.3]

Adv.-131

INFORMAL OPINION 950232

QUESTION: Attorney asks that Informal Opinion 950120 bereconsidered. That opinion stated that a sole practitioner could notuse the word "firm" in the name of the sole practitioner's practice. ANSWER: Although the term "firm" is defined as referring totwo or more people, it is also widely defined as a commercialenterprise without regard to the number of people involved in theenterprise. Therefore, attorney X who is a sole practitioner may usethe name "The X Law Firm." This conclusion also leads to the resultthat Attorney may use the word "firm" in the title of attorney'spractice. Based on this conclusion, Informal Opinion 950120 is nolonger valid.

[Rule 4 -- 7.1]

Adv.-132

INFORMAL OPINION 950250

QUESTION: Attorney's firm sends out a newsletter severaltimes a year to present clients, former clients, non-clients who haveasked to receive the newsletter and prospective clients. Thenewsletter summarizes recent cases or new developments in the lawthat may be of interest to those on the mailing list. Is the newsletteradvertising under Rule 4-7.2? Is the "ADVERTISING" disclaimerrequired?

ANSWER: The newsletter is advertising under Rule 4-7.2. If thenewsletter is directed to an individual prospective client or anindividual in a situation similar to one covered by the text, it wouldbe considered solicitation for purposes of Rule 4-7.3. The "contingentfee" disclaimer would have to be included, if a newsletter indicates,in any way, that the firm will accept cases on a contingent feebasis. Unless Attorney intends to evaluate the list of addresses priorto each mailing to determine that no addressee is in a situationcovered by Rule 4-7.3, Attorney should include the "ADVERTISING"disclaimer mandated by that Rule.

[Rule 4 -- 7.2; 7.3]

Adv.-133

INFORMAL OPINION 950254

QUESTION: Attorney's firm will distribute a firm brochure whichincludes inserts about various attorneys in the firm. Some of theinserts indicate that the attorney "specializes" in a particular area.Will it comply with Rule 4-7.4 if the disclaimer is placed on theoutside jacket of the brochure or the insert related to the firm as awhole?

ANSWER: Attorney's firm will be in compliance with Rule 4-7.4of Supreme Court Rule 4, the Rules of Professional Conduct, if thelanguage from that rule is included on the outside jacket or the"firm" insert. However, if any of the information sheets about theindividual attorneys are ever used or distributed individually, thedisclaimer language must be on or with the information sheet.

[Rule 4 -- 7.4]