Opinion 95-17
(August 1995)
 
You have asked if it is permissible for you to use the name X Law Center for an office at your residence, the border of which is contiguous with the X Park.
 
The two sections of the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct (Pa.R.P.C.) applicable to your inquiry are Rules 7.5a and 7.2i.
 
Pa.R.P.C. 7.5a provides in part that:
 
(a) A lawyer shall not use a firm name, letterhead or other professional designation that violates Rule 7.1. A trade name may be used by a lawyer in private practice if it does not imply a connection with a government, government agency or with a public or charitable legal services organization and is not in violation of Rule 7.1....
 
Pa. R.P.C. 7.2i provides that:
 
(i) All advertisements and written communications shall disclose the geographic location, by city or town, of the office in which the lawyer or lawyers who will actually perform the services advertised principally practice law [emphasis added]. If the office location is outside the city or town, the county in which the office is located must be disclosed.
 
Because the name you wish to use includes the name of a region park, the Committee believes that in order to comply with Rule 7.5a and avoid any misperception that the office is in some way associated with a municipality, your letterhead, business card, etc. and any advertisements for the office must contain a notation that the legal center is a private law office.
 
In addition, as required by Rule 7.2i, unless your primary practice is located out of your home, you would need to disclose in any advertisements or written communications regarding this office (including letterhead and business cards) that your principal office is located in Philadelphia.

   

The Philadelphia Bar Association's Professional Guidance Committee provides, upon request, advice for lawyers facing or anticipating facing ethical dilemmas. Advice is based on the consideration of the facts of the particular inquirer's situation and the Rules of Professional Conduct as promulgated by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. The Committee's opinions are advisory only and are based upon the facts set forth. The opinions are not binding upon the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania or any other Court. They carry only such weight as an appropriate reviewing authority may choose to give it.