N.M. R. Prof'l. Cond. 16-705

As amended through November 1, 2020
Rule 16-705 - Firm names and letterheads
A.Use of trade or firm name. A lawyer shall not use a firm name, letterhead or other professional designation that violates Rule 16-701 NMRA of the Rules of Professional Conduct. A trade name may be used by a lawyer in private practice if it does not imply a connection with a government agency or with a public or charitable legal services organization and is not otherwise in violation of Rule 16-701 NMRA of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
B.Multi-jurisdictional law firms. A law firm with offices in more than one jurisdiction may use the same name or other professional designation in each jurisdiction, but identification of the lawyers in an office of the firm shall indicate the jurisdictional limitations on those not licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the office is located.
C.Use of names of lawyers holding public office. The name of a lawyer holding a public office shall not be used in the name of a law firm, or in communications on its behalf, during any substantial period in which the lawyer is not actively and regularly practicing with the firm.
D.Statements about association. Lawyers may state or imply that they practice in a partnership or other organization only when that is the fact.

N.M. R. Prof'l. Cond. 16-705

As amended by Supreme Court Order No. 08-8300-29, effective November 3, 2008.

Committee commentary. -

[1] A firm may be designated by the names of all or some of its members, by the names of deceased members where there has been a continuing succession in the firm's identity or by a trade name such as the "ABC Legal Clinic". A lawyer or law firm may also be designated by a distinctive website address or comparable professional designation. Although the United States Supreme Court has held that legislation may prohibit the use of trade names in professional practice, use of such names in law practice is acceptable so long as it is not misleading. If a private firm uses a trade name that includes a geographical name such as "Springfield Legal Clinic", an express disclaimer that it is a public legal aid agency may be required to avoid a misleading implication. It may be observed that any firm name including the name of a deceased partner is, strictly speaking, a trade name. The use of such names to designate law firms has proven a useful means of identification. However, it is misleading to use the name of a lawyer not associated with the firm or a predecessor of the firm, or the name of a non-lawyer.

[2] With regard to Paragraph D, lawyers sharing office facilities but who are not in fact associated with each other in a law firm may not denominate themselves as, for example, "Smith and Jones", for that title suggests that they are practicing law together in a firm.

[Adopted by Supreme Court Order No. 08-8300-29, effective November 3, 2008.]


ANNOTATIONS The 2008 amendment, approved by Supreme Court Order No. 08-8300-29, effective November 3, 2008, added "of the Rules of Professional Conduct" in Paragraph A; added "or other professional designation" in Paragraph B; and in Paragraph D, changed "Lawyers may not state or imply" to "Lawyers may state or imply", changed "unless" to "only when". Compiler's notes. - The old ABA Comment was replaced by the 2008 committee commentary. Am. Jur. 2d, A.L.R. and C.J.S. references. - 7 Am. Jur. 2d Attorneys at Law § 66. Publication and distribution of announcement of new or changed associations or addresses, change of firm name, or the like as ground for disciplinary action, 53 A.L.R.3d 1261. Lawyer publicity as breach of legal ethics, 4 A.L.R.4th 306. Use of assumed or trade name as ground for disciplining attorney, 26 A.L.R.4th 1083. Advertising as ground for disciplining attorney, 30 A.L.R.4th 742. 7 C.J.S. Attorney and Client §§ 77 to 87.