LAWYER ADVERTISING OPINION #A-107
Law Firm Letterhead: Designating
A multi-jurisdictional law firm has
asked whether the names of non-Virginia licensed attorneys on the firm letterhead
can be marked with an asterisk, which refers to a notation of "Admitted to a
bar other than Virginia."
DR 2-102(D) states that, "A law firm
shall not be formed or continued between or among lawyers licensed in different
jurisdictions unless all enumerations of the members and associates of the firm
on its letterhead and in other permissible listings make clear the jurisdictional
limitations of those members and associates of the firm not licensed to practice
in all jurisdictions . . ." The Standing Committee on Lawyer Advertising and
Solicitation (Committee) has been asked whether an asterisk could be placed
next to the name of lawyers in the law firm not admitted in Virginia with a
notation reading "Admitted to a bar other than Virginia" in small print. The
inquiry was made by a patent and trademark law firm with offices in Virginia.
Under the rules of the Patent and Trademark Office, a lawyer may practice there
even though he or she is not admitted in Virginia, so long as the lawyer has
a state bar admission in one of the states.
The Committee is of the opinion that
the footnote "Admitted to a bar other than Virginia" satisfies the basic spirit
and letter of DR 2-102(D) by making it clear to members of the Virginia public
that these lawyers are not admitted in Virginia.
May 31, 1995