The Florida Bar
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PROFESSIONAL ETHICS OF THE FLORIDA BAR

OPINION 68-49
December 11, 1968

An attorney may employ an attorney who is not a member of The Florida Bar, as a research assistant, provided the unadmitted attorney does not deal with clients nor otherwise perform acts constituting the practice of law and limits his activities solely to research under the immediate supervision of a member of The Florida Bar. The assistant may not be held out to the public as an attorney by a listing on a letterhead or elsewhere.

Canons: 27, 47
Opinions: 62-6, 65-53, 68-7

Chairman MacDonald stated the opinion of the committee:

A member of The Florida Bar inquires as follows:

I am considering employing, on a salaried basis, a research expert who has been a member of the New York Bar in good standing for over 35 years. He is presently a resident of Miami Beach, Florida. This gentleman's work would be under my supervision and solely for my own use.

We see no impropriety in this matter so long as the research assistant does not deal with clients nor otherwise perform acts constituting the practice of law, and limits his participation solely to research under the immediate supervision of the inquiring attorney or another member of The Florida Bar. Obviously, he may not be held out to the public in any manner as an attorney or a person performing legal services, either by listing on a letterhead, a door, a shingle, or in a legal or telephone directory.

See our Opinions No. 62-6 [since withdrawn], No. 65-53 [since withdrawn], and No. 68-7 [since withdrawn].

[Revised: 08-24-2011]