Informal Opinion Number: 20060074

Rules: 4-7.1; 4-8.3
Information About Legal Services
Communication Concerning a Lawyer's Services
Reporting Professional Misconduct

QUESTION: Attorney’s former law firm continues to post Attorney’s picture and biographical profile on their website even though Attorney has not been with the firm for several months. Attorney wants the information removed from the website. Is there an ethical rule which prohibits firms from committing acts such as this? How can this situation be resolved without having it mushroom into professional misconduct that must be reported and investigated?
ANSWER: It is recommended that Attorney review Rule 4-7.1 and bring that rule to the attention of Attorney’s former firm. Attorney should document the communications to the former firm requesting that information about Attorney be removed from the firm’s website.If the former firm does not remove Attorney’s information within a reasonable time frame and does not provide a reasonable explanation for the failure to do so, under Rule 8.3, Attorney should report this matter to OCDC so they can investigate to determine whether a violation has occurred. An opinion about the conduct of the attorneys in the firm cannot be formed without the opportunity for those attorneys to provide information

Informal Opinions are ethics advisory opinions issued by the Office of Legal Ethics Counsel to members of the Bar about Rule 4 (Rules of Professional Conduct), Rule 5 (Complaints and Proceedings Thereon), and Rule 6 (Fees to Practice Law) pursuant to Missouri Supreme Court Rule 5.30(c). Written summaries of select Informal Opinions are published for informational purposes as determined by the Advisory Committee of the Supreme Court of Missouri pursuant to Rule 5.30(c). Informal opinion summaries are advisory in nature and are not binding. These opinions are published as an educational service and do not constitute legal advice.

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