Lawyeringlaw.com Tip of the Month

Tip for September 2010

Use Caution When Sharing Office Space

It is common for lawyers to reduce overhead costs by sharing office space with other lawyers.  The danger is that the lawyers who share the space will hold themselves out as each other's partners by using signs, letterhead, directory listings and business cards that bear the names of all of the attorneys who share the space, as if they were partners.  Clients who retain such lawyers sometimes believe that the lawyers are practicing in partnership, reasonably relying on the indicia of partnership the lawyers have created.  Under the theory of partnership by estoppel or apparent partnership, lawyers risk being sued for the malpractice of those with whom the office space is shared.  If you are sharing office space with other lawyers, be careful how you present yourself and your law firm to the public.