Legal Ethics Opinion #1574 

Confidences and Secrets--Letterhead: Retired Firm Partner
Retaining Office In, and Using Services of, Firm after
Surrendering License

You have presented a hypothetical situation in which a partner in
a law firm plans to retire, at which time he will surrender his
license to practice law and will terminate his relationship with
all clients.  The partner will handle no further matters except
his own personal concerns.  This attorney, however, wants to
retain an office in his prior law firm and to utilize the firm's
secretarial and other facilities, including the telephone number
and mailing address and, if allowed by the insurance carrier, to
remain insured on the firm's group medical insurance policy.  The
attorney will use this office for his personal business only, and
the firm's letterhead will be changed to show the attorney as

You have asked the committee to opine whether, under the facts of
the inquiry, it is ethical for the law firm and its remaining
partners to enter into such a relationship with a former partner
as outlined above, and, if so, if there are any necessary steps
to be taken by the firm to proceed with the outlined

The appropriate and controlling Disciplinary Rules related to
your inquiry are DR 2-102(A) which states that a lawyer or law
firm may use a professional notice or device unless it includes a
statement or claim that is false, fraudulent,misleading, or
deceptive; and DR 4-l0l which requires that a lawyer preserve a
client's confidences and secrets. 

The committee is of the opinion that the proposed relationship is
not improper since the partner will be retired from the practice
of law and will not be holding himself out as an attorney.  SeeLEO #1341.  In addition, the committee cautions that the law firm
must be mindful of the need to protect client confidentiality
since the retired attorney will not be authorized to share that

Committee Opinion
February 8, 1994