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

OPINION 61-13
September 8, 1961

A lawyer may set up a corporation to act as fiscal agent for cities in arranging for the purchase and sale of bonds, but he may not hold any interest in such corporation if he also represents municipalities that employ the corporation.

Canons: 6, 27

Chairman Holcomb stated the opinion of the committee:

A member of The Florida Bar has posed the question as to whether he might set up a corporation to act as fiscal agent for cities in arranging for the purchase and sale of bonds to the public with him holding a small interest in the corporation.

We feel that such an interest would be improper if the member is also going to represent municipalities employing the services of the corporation, and feel that it would be almost impossible to avoid a suggestion, when the corporate fiscal agent has been employed with respect to a particular bond issue, that its stockholder be employed to handle the legal matters incident to the validation. The effect of this would be for the lawyer through his corporate alter ego to solicit business. Also, not infrequently differences arise with respect to the proper performance by fiscal agents of their obligations to the municipalities, and the lawyer should not place himself in the position of representing a municipality while he is financially interested in a corporation whose interests are possibly adverse.

We would, therefore, suggest that he not hold any interest in such a corporation.

[Revised: 08-24-2011]