Informal Opinion Number: 970119

Rules: 7.1;7.5(f)
Information About Legal Services
Communication Concerning a Lawyer´s Services
Summary: shared advertising

QUESTION: Attorney is currently in an office sharing agreement with another attorney and they are considering entering into a formal partnership agreement at a later time. Attorney would like to obtain a full page advertisement to be split with the other attorney under one account with each attorney paying half. A border will divide the page into two parts. Would such advertising imply a partnership? Would such advertising need to contain a disclaimer stating the offices are not in partnership? ANSWER: It is permissible for Attorney and another attorney to share the costs of a full page in the yellow pages without violating Rule 4-7.5(f) as long as the advertisements appear to be two separate advertisements. Depending on the degree to which the advertisements would appear to an objective person to be two separate advertisements, a disclaimer might be helpful.

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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