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

OPINION 60-23
January 10, 1961

There is no impropriety when a lawyer who proposes to reestablish the civil rights of a female ward of a state mental hospital acts as her next friend in such proceedings with the intention of subsequently acting as her counsel in proceedings to establish a common law marriage.

Canon: 6

Chairman Holcomb stated the opinion of the committee:

A member of The Florida Bar submits a question relative to a female client committed to the Florida State Hospital at Chattahoochee and whose civil rights he proposes to re-establish in the County Judge's Court. He questions whether, in the absence of a near relative or friend to act as “next friend,” he may do so and later represent her in legal proceedings to establish a common law marriage.

We find no objection to him or his associate attorney acting as “next friend” under the circumstances stated, and then later acting as counsel in the proceedings to establish a common law marriage. We believe, however, it would be better if he could find another attorney to act as “next friend.”

[Revised: 08-24-2011]