Choice of Entity
Choosing a business entity for your firm should be done with the assistance of experts, such as a CPA or a lawyer experienced in business law.
Some guidance is also available from the Bar's lending library and on the Internet.
Choice of Name
South Carolina Ethics Rules govern the choice of law firm name. Please read the Ethics Advisory Opinions below for specifics. It is also advisable to search for any new opinions that may have been issued.
EAO05-19 Regarding the use of "and Associates" in firm name with one lawyer.
EAO 03-04 and 03-10 Practice of law under a trade name.
EAO 02-19 Use of name of deceased or retired partners in firm name.
EAO 07-05 Use of different personal and professional name.
Rule 7.5 governs the use of firm names and letterheads. Section (a) of the rule states that a lawyer shall not use a letterhead that violates Rule 7.1.
Rule 7.1 provides:
A lawyer shall not make false, misleading, deceptive, or unfair communications about the lawyer or the lawyer's services. A communication violates this rule if it: a) contains a material misrepresentation of fact or law, or omits a fact necessary to make the statement considered as a whole not materially misleading.
Comment 2 to Rule 7.1 states:
Truthful statements that are misleading are also prohibited by this Rule. A truthful statement is misleading if it omits a fact necessary to make the lawyer's communication considered as a whole not materially misleading. A truthful statement is also misleading if there is a substantial likelihood that it will lead a reasonable person to formulate a specific conclusion about the lawyer or the lawyer's services for which there is no reasonable factual foundation.
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