Selling a practice and starting over

Can you sell your City #1 law practice, move to City #2, approximately 150 miles away, and then work for a third party in City #2?

Answer: Yes, providing you don’t directly compete with the purchaser.

Can you sell your City #1 practice and go to work for somebody else in the same city with the same kind of practice that you’re selling.

Answer: Aside from the fact that that probably would be a violation of contract law (especially with a covenant not to compete), I believe this probably would be OK under the rules of professional conduct since you’re selling substantially all your practice. The issue might come up under the guise of retiring from the practice. One’s particular jurisdiction would have to be consulted for the definitive answer to this.

But, if you sell your current practice and then, 10 days later, decide to start back in your own practice, solicit previous clients, I believe this would be violation of both contract law and the rules of professional conduct. The code is relatively clear in that the intent is that you must retire from the practice of law.


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