Inside Track: Ethical dilemmas: Can firm use name of retired and departed or deceased partner?:

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  • Ethical dilemmas: Can firm use name of retired and departed or deceased partner?

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    Aug. 17, 2011 – Ethical dilemmas affect every lawyer’s practice. This series of questions and answers appears each month in InsideTrack. The answers, offered by State Bar’s ethics counsel org tpierce wisbar Timothy Pierce, are intended to provide guidance only and are not legal authority. Each situation will depend on the facts and circumstances involved.

    Question

    One of the partners in our small firm is retiring. His name is part of the firm name and generates a lot of good will because he is a very active member of the community. Can we keep the same name after the partner retires?

    Answer

    Yes, provided the retired and departed partner has completely ceased to practice law. A firm name using the name of a deceased or actually retired partner is a non-misleading trade name and thus permissible.

    References: SCR 20:7.5.

    Previous questions

    For more information, visit the Ethics webpage on WisBar.

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