March 12, 1984
A lawyer who is also a certified public accountant may indicate that fact on legal stationery.
References: MCPR 2-102(E); CI-795; Bates v State Bar of Arizona, 433 US 350 (1977); Michigan Supreme Court Administrative Orders 1978-4 and 1979-7.
A lawyer who is also a certified public accountant [CPA] is engaged in the practice of law and seeks to designate the fact that the lawyer holds both licenses on letterhead.
"A certified public accountant who is also an attorney may list both on his professional card, letterhead and office sign."
Although some American Bar Association opinions reach a contrary result, they were rendered before the sanctions against advertising were removed by the United States Supreme Court in Bates v State Bar of Arizona, 433 US 350 (1977). Likewise, the prohibition in MCPR 2-102(E) predates Michigan Supreme Court Administrative Order 1978-4, extended indefinitely by 1979-7.
The ABA Final Draft of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct will not alter this opinion. ABA i1437 is not directly in point but indicates that the listing of licensure as a CPA is not contrary to ethics.