The Florida Bar
www.floridabar.org
PROFESSIONAL ETHICS OF THE FLORIDA BAR

OPINION 72-3
March 22, 1972

A lawyer does not act unprofessionally by refusing to disclose voluntarily his clients' trust account records to the Internal Revenue Service.

Chairman Clarkson stated the opinion of the committee:

A member of The Florida Bar has been asked by the Internal Revenue Service to submit his office books and accounts, including his trust account, to an audit for a particular year. He expresses doubt whether he should expose his trust account to audit without a court order.

If in doubt as to whether disclosures might be detrimental to his clients, a lawyer does not act unprofessionally by refusing to disclose his trust account records voluntarily to the Internal Revenue Service. The committee unanimously holds that the lawyer may properly require IRS to follow appropriate procedures to secure a judicial determination whether any privilege exists.

[Revised: 08-24-2011]