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August 1, 2014
Proposed UPL advisory opinion

The Standing Committee on UPL, pursuant to R. Regulating Fla. Bar 10-9.1(f)(3), provides this notice of filing a proposed advisory opinion relating to Rule 10-9.1(c) Goldberg request for a formal advisory opinion for the case of Scharrer v. Fundamental Administrative Services and Christine Zack (Middle District of Florida Case No. 8:12-cv-1855-JSM-MAP). The proposed opinion finds that it does not constitute the unlicensed practice of law for a nonlawyer company or its in-house counsel who is not licensed to practice law in Florida to control, direct, and manage Florida litigation on behalf of a nonlawyer company’s third party customers when the control, direction, and management is directed to a member of The Florida Bar who is representing the customer in litigation. While generally the answer is that the conduct is not the unlicensed practice of law, the committee recognized that there are circumstances where the activity of the nonlawyer company or its in-house counsel could constitute the unlicensed practice of law depending on the level of involvement of the Florida lawyer. Consequently, whether the practice is or is not the unlicensed practice of law is dependent on the facts and circumstances of the case. A copy of the full opinion can be found on the Bar’s website at The Bar will file the proposed opinion with the Supreme Court of Florida on or about September 2. Pursuant to R. Regulating Fla. Bar 10-9.1(g)(3), “within 30 days of the filing of the opinion, the petitioner may file objections and a brief or memorandum in support therof, copies of which shall be served on the committee. Any other interested person may, within 30 days of the filing of the opinion, seek leave of the court to file and serve a brief, whether in support of or in opposition to the opinion, in accordance with this same procedure. The committee may file a responsive brief within 20 days of service of the initial brief. The petitioner, as well as other interested persons having leave of court, may file a reply brief within 10 days of service of the responsive brief. At its discretion, the court shall permit reasonable extension of these time periods. Oral argument will be allowed at the court’s discretion. The Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure shall otherwise govern the above methods of filing, service, and argument.”

[Revised: 06-13-2015]