The Florida Bar

Ethics Hotline

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IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

Due to concerns related to the community impact of the coronavirus, The Florida Bar temporarily closed its offices on March 19, 2020. The Bar’s Ethics Hotline is available from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. This service is reserved for members of the bar in good standing. Please be considerate to your fellow bar members and limit calls that are not urgent until Bar offices re-open. You may experience longer wait times than normal due to limited staffing.

Florida Bar members can also email [email protected]. An ethics lawyer will be monitoring email and will respond to questions in order of urgency. There may be delays in email response times due to limited staffing.

Ethics Professor Timothy P. Chinaris has volunteered to answer ethics questions for free while the Ethics Hotline is limited. Please visit www.sunethics.com for more information. Professor Chinaris is not affiliated with The Florida Bar’s Ethics Hotline.

The Supreme Court of Florida has issued an order suspending the filing and review requirements for lawyer advertising, and the Bar’s Ethics and Advertising Department will not be accepting filings or providing opinions on lawyer advertisements while the Bar is closed. The Florida Bar has added a FAQ page on ethics concerns regarding the coronavirus crisis. Visit the page here.

Ethics Hotline

800-235-8619

On This Page

General Information
Oral Advisory Opinion
Written Ethics Opinion
Resources
For non-attorneys


General Information

One of the first of its kind in the nation, and still one of only a handful in operation, the toll-free Ethics Hotline was established in 1984 to help guide lawyers through the minefields of conflict dilemmas, confidentiality questions, communication concerns, trust accounting problems, and other ethics difficulties unique to the profession.

Hotline attorneys are authorized to respond to inquiries from members in good standing of The Florida Bar who are asking about their own contemplated conduct. When there is no Florida authority upon which to base an answer to an inquiry, ethics counsel can decline to issue an opinion. Staff must decline to render an opinion when an inquirer asks a question of law, a question about past conduct, a question about another attorney’s conduct, or a question about the subject of a pending grievance.

Advisory ethics opinions are appealable to the Professional Ethics Committee and, ultimately, to the Bar’s Board of Governors according to The Florida Bar Procedures for Ruling on Questions of Ethics. Advisory ethics opinions are not binding.


Oral Advisory Opinion

Members of The Florida Bar in good standing who wish to receive an oral advisory opinion about their own contemplated conduct may call (800) 235-8619 to reach an ethics attorney. Advisory ethics opinions are not binding.

To leave a message call 850-561-5780.


Written Ethics Opinion

To receive a written ethics opinion, which takes 3-5 weeks, members of The Florida Bar in good standing may make written inquiry to The Ethics Department, The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-2300. Advisory ethics opinions are not binding.

Florida Bar Ethics Opinion Request Form: PDF / Word


Resources


For Nonattorneys

If you are not a member of The Florida Bar and wish to file a complaint against your attorney, you may download the consumer pamphlet Complaint Against A Florida Lawyer, which contains the complaint form.