The Florida Bar

May 10, 1962

A lawyer who sells his client title insurance through the Lawyer's Title Guaranty fund and retains a portion of the premium should disclose to the client his interest in the fund and his retention of the portion of the premium.

Canons: 6, 38
Opinion: ABA 304

Chairman Holcomb stated the opinion of the committee:

At the recent Bar Convention and the Institute on Legal Ethics, the question arose as to whether there was any impropriety in a lawyer writing title insurance in the Lawyers' Title Guaranty Fund for his client without advising the client of the lawyer's interest in the Fund and of his retention of a portion of any fee charged for the title insurance.

This relates to Opinion 304 of the ABA Committee appearing in the ABA Journal of April, 1962, adopted February 16, 1962. The opinion was expressed that where the lawyer simply charged a blanket fee and then provided the title insurance policy at his own cost out of his fee, no duty rested on him to inform his client of his interest in the Fund.

A distinction appears where the title insurance is sold and a portion of the fee retained — in which case it is incumbent on the lawyer to make a disclosure to his client — and where the title insurance is furnished as an additional protection to the client without any additional charge therefor.

[Revised: 08-24-2011]