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The Florida Bar
www.floridabar.org
OPINION 76-36
June 15, 1977

An attorney may not ethically receive money from a third party which is charged to and directly or indirectly paid by his client without full disclosure to the client.

Note: See Opinion 70-13, which indicates that an attorney may receive a fee for referring a client to a financial institution provided that the client consents after full disclosure and the client receives the benefit of the referral fee

Vice Chairman Taylor stated the opinion of the committee:

The Committee has been asked two questions:

1. Where an attorney orders title insurance from a commercial company at a discounted rate from that charged the general public, may the attorney charge his client at the rate charged the general public without disclosing the attorney's actual cost?

2. May the attorney, on the real estate closing statement, list the cost for title insurance at the rate charged the general public without disclosing the attorney's actual cost?

The answer to each question is “no.”

An attorney may not ethically receive money from a third party which is charged to and directly or indirectly paid by his client without full disclosure to the client.


[Revised: 08-24-2011]