The Florida Bar
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PROFESSIONAL ETHICS OF THE FLORIDA BAR

OPINION 69-24
July 23, 1969

Provided an informed consent to such representation is procured from both litigants, and provided the board of directors is completely removed from the relationship between a staff attorney and the defendant, a staff attorney of a legal services corporation may defend an action brought by a plaintiff represented by an attorney who is a member of the board of directors.

Canon: 6
Opinion: 66-56

Chairman MacDonald stated the opinion of the committee:

We are asked by a member of the Board of Directors of the Lee County Legal Aid Society, Inc., an OEO-funded legal services corporation, analogous to the one considered in our 66-56 [since withdrawn], whether the staff attorney employed by the corporation may properly represent a defendant in an action brought by a plaintiff represented by an attorney who is a member of the Board of Directors.

Providing an informed consent to such representation is procured from both litigants (and it is highly advisable that such consent should be procured in written form) and provided that the Board of Directors is completely removed from any connection with the attorney-client relationship between the staff attorney and the defendant, we see no harm in the proposed representation.

In our judgment, it is preferable for the charter and appropriate bylaws of the corporation to provide that the Board of Directors is specifically enjoined from interfering in any manner with the attorney-client relationships formed between the staff attorney and his client. Compare the operational procedures outlined in 66-56.

[Revised: 08-24-2011]