Skip to main content

Minnie Solos Can't Use "& Associates" in their Firm Name

Peter H. Berge at Minnesota CLE reports today that

"At least in Minnesota, it is now unethical for solo practitioners to use "& Associates" in the law firm name. The Minnesota Lawyers Board of Professional Responsibility just adopted that rule in its new Opinion 20.

The stated reason for the rule is that Rule 7.1 prohibits false and misleading statements and Rule 7.5(a) shall not use a firm name or letterhead that is in violation of Rule 7.1. Using the term "& Associates" in a firm name, the LBPR reasoned, is misleading if there are not more than two licenses attorneys in the firm. While recognizing that "Associates" has other meanings in general use, the term has come to have a specific meaning in the custom of law firms.

Needless to say, there has been consternation among some solo practitioners. Many solos feel they are being unfairly picked on; that if large law firms could continue to use the names of dead partners they should be able to intimate non-existent "Associates." (That is specifically dealt with in the comments to the Minnesota Rule 7.5 - a firm can continue to use the name of a dead partner if their is a continuation of practice or a trade name.)

Not an issue for me of course. I practice solo. No associates. No clerks. Just a computer or two. Neither the law office nor the computer has a name (and for the record, no dead partners either)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Equifax data breach and you — 6 steps to take now

Identity thieves hit a major credit reporting agency—hard. Millions of consumers’ confidential identity information has been compromised.

Equifax, one of the big three credit reporting agencies announced that a massive security breach took place earlier this year. Offenders accessed data sets of 143 million US consumers.

What to do when drones fly near your home

Imagine a quiet evening on the deck of your new home when—out of nowhere—a noisy drone begins hovering around your property, almost certainly snapping photos or video. It’s like Space Invaders meets Gladys Kravitz. So what do you do?

Help! My Neighbor’s Old Tree is Growing Over my Roof

Let’s say about 100 years ago, a family planted an oak tree on the edge of their property. Over generations it’s grown into a magnificent tree that provides summer shade, autumn color and a swing for the neighborhood kids. You probably even liked the tree when you bought the house next door to it.

But today, its root system is invading your basement, its acorns bombard your yard and its huge limbs loom threateningly over your roof. By law, can you cut it down? Trim it? Turn it into a boat?