Ethics Opinions from the Bar Association of San Francisco
INFORMAL OPINION 1973-18
Law firms should distinguish partners from non-partners on stationary and announcements, by spacing, separation bar, or other means, so as to avoid misrepresentation to the public as to answerability and responsibility. [Based on L.A. Opinion 290 and ABA Opinion 310.]
A law firm is sending announcement cards to its clients advising them of a change of address. Is it improper to fail to differentiate on the cards between partners and associates?
Yes, according to an opinion on the subject by the State Bar Committee on Professional Ethics (California State Bar Opinion 1971-27). However, in view of the fact that the cards were already printed, and considering that it is a common practice among law firms in San Francisco not to so differentiate, the inquirer was advised that the cards could be mailed as printed.
All opinions of the Committee are subject to the following disclaimer:
In using these opinions you should be aware that subsequent judicial opinions and revised rules of professional conduct may have dealt with the areas covered by these ethics opinions.