LEO: Advertising - Organizations: Attorney  LE Op. 1275


Advertising - Organizations: Attorney Participating in Non-Profit



September 27, 1989


You have indicated that an attorney wishes to form a non-profit

corporation which will solicit grants from foundations to include, without

limitation to, the following objectives:


a) Prepare and distribute brochures for attorneys listing drug treatment



b) Provide speakers and seminars for attorneys on how to deal with

clients who have a drug addiction;


c) Sponsor periodic luncheons with featured speakers knowledgeable about

anti-drug efforts.


You have asked questions with regard to the propriety of an attorney

forming and participating in such an organization as well as some of its

activities mentioned above. The Committee will address each question in

the order in which it was presented in the inquiry. Furthermore, the

Committee will assume that none of the corporation's activities will

consist of the practice of law or providing legal assistance to others

since there are no additional facts to the contrary provided in the

inquiry. Although the Committee is of the opinion that a lawyer must

always refrain from all illegal and ethically reprehensible conduct

regardless of whether the practice of law is involved, in order to

encourage public confidence in the legal profession, the Committee is

unaware of any Disciplinary Rules which specifically address your issues. (

See EC:1-5)


1. It is not improper to use the word "Lawyer" in the title of the non-

profit corporation, unless any false, fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive

statement or claim has been made by the context in which the word is used. (

See DR:2-101(A) and DR:2-102(B))


2. Questions regarding whether attorneys can function as incorporators,

directors and officers of such an entity and whether the corporation can

solicit funds for the preparation of materials for distribution to other

attorneys are legal issues pertaining to the formation of the corporation

and its activities which are beyond the purview of this Committee.


3. Since you have raised the matter of solicitation of other bar members

to participate in the contemplated corporation, the Committee will refer

your inquiry regarding whether the corporation may offer membership in the

proposed organization to Virginia State Bar members to the Executive

Director of the Virginia State Bar who will address the issue.


4. The corporation may distribute materials, hold seminars, and sponsor

meetings and luncheons, charging a fee for attendance, as long as none of

the materials or participants involved in such solicitation engage in any

form of public communication which contains a false, fraudulent,

misleading, or deceptive statement or claim or in any division of legal

fees with non-lawyers.


Committee Opinion September 27, 1989