NJ Attorneys Can Be Creative With Trade Names


New Jersey attorneys who want to flex their creative muscle when naming their law firms have finally received the green light from the New Jersey Supreme Court. Trade names will now be allowed, so long as they are not misleading.

The court's decision calls for Rule of Professional Conduct 7.5 to be amended to permit a law firm name that "describes the nature of the firm's legal practice in terms that are accurate, descriptive, and informative, but not misleading, comparative, or suggestive of the ability to obtain results." The name of the New Jersey law firm must be accompanied by the name of the attorney responsible for the management of the organization.

The issue of law firm trade names has been a hot topic for several years, with the court now finally coming around on the issue. "In balance, we have become convinced that trade names need not be forbidden in New Jersey and that we should align our law firms' naming options more in keeping with our sister states' recognition that use of trade names can be incorporated in the profession without harm to the public," the opinion concluded.

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