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OPINION 79-4
A lawyer may maintain a real estate broker's license with a real estate firm and at the same time maintain an active law practice specializing in real estate transactions.

CPR: EC 2-8, DR 2-102, DR 2-103, DR 5-101(A), EC 9-6, DR 9-101
Opinions: 66-16, 72-19, 74-54, 78-14, 79-3
Cases: The Florida Bar re: Amendment to The Florida Bar Code of Professional Responsibility (Advertising), 380 So.2d 435 (Fla. 1980)

Mr. Corrigan stated the opinion of the committee:

The inquiring lawyer asks if he can maintain his real estate broker's license with a real estate firm in order to enhance his instructor's position, teaching for an accredited real estate salesman's license school, and, at the same time, maintain an active law practice specializing in real estate transactions.

The Florida Supreme Court has, in the case of The Florida Bar re: Amendment to The Florida Bar Code of Professional Responsibility (Advertising), 380 So.2d 435 (Fla. 1980), promulgated new disciplinary rules and ethical considerations governing advertising, which is one form of solicitation. The Supreme Court, however, did not revise the disciplinary rules and ethical considerations on other forms of solicitation. Since this inquiry does not deal directly with permissible advertising, the answer to it must be found in the revised DR 2-102 and EC 2-8 as well as in DR 2-103 and DR 5-101(A). Reference is also made to past opinions of this Committee numbered 66-16 [since withdrawn], 72-19 [since withdrawn], 74-54 [since withdrawn], 78-14 and 79-3.

The Committee believes that the facts of this inquiry do not present an "impermissible feeder" type operation. If the inquiring lawyer refrains from accepting any referrals from the real estate firm, and if he can conduct himself so as not to violate DR 9-101 and EC 9-6, and thus avoid any appearance of impropriety, the Committee believes he can continue his law practice and his teaching while leaving his real estate license registered with the real estate firm.



[Revised: 08-24-2011]