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The Florida Bar
www.floridabar.org
PROFESSIONAL ETHICS OF THE FLORIDA BAR

OPINION 64-59
September 21, 1964

It is improper to include on the letterhead of a firm the name of an out-of-state lawyer if no partnership exists between the Florida lawyer and the out-of-state lawyer.

Canons: 27, 33

Chairman Smith stated the opinion of the committee:

A member of The Florida Bar desires to know whether it is proper for a Florida lawyer to include on his letterhead the name of a lawyer who does not practice here when the Florida lawyer and the out-of-state lawyer work jointly on numerous legal matters.

It is the opinion of our Committee that it is ethically improper to include on the letterhead the name of the out-of-state lawyer. There are some circumstances when it is proper to list on the letterhead an attorney actually associated with a firm in Florida although the attorney is not admitted to practice in this State. There is also some authority governing letterheads of interstate partnerships. In the case presented, however, apparently no partnership exists between the Florida lawyer and the out-of-state attorney and there would appear no justification whatsoever for including the out-of-state attorney's name on the letterhead. Drinker, Legal Ethics, p. 230, states that:

‘A lawyer's stationery should not be used to advertise his connections with lawyers in other places or to bring their names before his correspondents.’

[Revised: 08-24-2011]