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The Florida Bar

February 15, 1977
Members of a Florida law firm that has offices in two counties may be listed in the classified telephone directory for both counties if they do legal work for a substantial number of clients in each county.

CPR: DR 2-102(A)(5)
Opinions: 74-14, 74-19, 74-23

Chairman Sullivan stated the opinion of the committee:

A Florida law firm maintains offices in two counties. Four of the lawyers in the firm who reside and primarily work out of the firm's offices in the first county frequently use the firm's office in the second county in connection with legal matters they handle in that county.

Those four lawyers ask whether they may properly be listed in the classified section of the telephone directory for the second county. The listings would include their designations in accordance with the standards established by The Florida Bar.

The Committee is of the opinion that they may properly do so. In combined Opinions 74-14, 74-19 and 74-23 [all since withdrawn], we referred to DR 2-102(A)(5), which permits listings in classified directories in areas in which a lawyer resides [or] has an office or in which a significant part of his clientele resides. In those opinions, we were faced with the propriety of a lawyer having a classified listing in an area where he did not maintain an office but where a substantial part of his clientele resided. We concluded that it was permissible but emphasized the need for lawyers to make a good faith effort in determining the boundaries of the "area" or "areas."

In reaching the conclusion we do here, we are not deciding that because the law firm has offices in two counties all the lawyers in the firm have offices in the two counties within the meaning of DR 2-102(A)(5).

We interpret the statement that the four lawyers are frequently in the office in the second county in connection with legal matters they handle in that county to mean that a substantial number of the firm's clients for whom those four lawyers handle legal matters reside in the second county, and it is upon that interpretation that we base our conclusion.

[Revised: 08-24-2011]