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

OPINION 74-10 (Reconsideration)
September 11, 2009

A lawyer may send a letter on law firm letterhead soliciting political support or a charitable contribution as long as the lawyer does not advertise the lawyer’s experience or services.

Opinions: 74-10

In Florida Ethics Opinion 74-10, which is withdrawn by this opinion, a member of The Florida Bar asked several questions about the propriety of using his law firm’s letterhead in a variety of circumstances.

1. A member of The Florida Bar has circulated a letter written on his firm's letterhead praising a counseling service in his area. The firm does not represent the counseling service and has no interest in it except that the counseling service is a tenant in the firm's office building where it pays rent for the space it occupies identically proportional to that other tenants pay for the space they occupy. The letter was sent only to other attorneys, all of whom were personal acquaintances of the sender, and he sent it to them because he believed that the attorneys to whom he sent the letter would be interested in knowing about the service, the only one of its kind in his area.

The inquirer also asked the following questions:

2. Whether he may use his firm letterhead for personal correspondence sent to people in a professional capacity recommending a particular candidate for public office.

3. Whether he may use his firm letterhead for correspondence directed to fellow attorneys soliciting contributions for a charity.

4. Whether he may use his firm letterhead for correspondence directed to fellow attorneys recommending another attorney in a particular specialty.

The committee declines to answer the first and fourth questions. The first question involves past conduct of the inquiring lawyer and the committee therefore offers no opinion on this conduct. Additionally, the first and fourth questions involve matters more within the authority of the Standing Committee on Advertising.

The committee answers the second and third questions in the affirmative. It is permissible to send a letter soliciting political support or a charitable contribution on office letterhead so long as there is no intent to publicize the lawyer or the lawyer’s professional skill and experience.

[Revised: 08-24-2011]