The Florida Bar

July 24, 1967

A lawyer may not accept employment by a real estate broker to prepare a deed for use by the broker in closing a real estate transaction when the lawyer would have no contact with either party to the transaction.

Canon: 35
Opinion: ABA Informal 508

Chairman MacDonald stated the opinion of the committee:

We are asked by a member of The Florida Bar whether he may properly accept employment by a broker for the purpose of preparing a deed in an uncomplicated real estate transaction. Such deed would then be returned to the broker who would close the real estate transaction, collecting a minimal fee from the seller and remitting to the lawyer without the lawyer ever being in contact with either party to the real estate transaction.

We conclude that the law of Florida still is that a broker may not draft a deed, Keyes v. Dade County Bar Association, 46 So.2d 605 (Fla. 1950), Cooperman v. West Coast Title Company, 75 So.2d 818 (Fla. 1954), and Florida Bar v. McPhee, 195 So.2d 552 (Fla. 1967). Thus we are not confronted with a consideration of whether, assuming the broker could properly draft a deed, he might properly retain legal assistance in his own right to aid such preparation. Moreover, we are not confronted with a situation such as that described in Cooperman, supra, wherein the issuance of title insurance and the preparation of various documents in satisfaction of the requirements of the insurer were involved.

On the facts before us, which in essence involve the intervention of a broker between the lawyer and the client, we have no hesitancy in concurring in Informal Opinion 508 of the American Bar Association (1962), disapproving this practice in essence on the ground that such a transaction is devoid of the personal contact which should exist between attorney and client.

[Revised: 08-24-2011]