The Florida Bar

Ethics Opinion

Opinion 59-10

November 25, 1959
Advisory ethics opinions are not binding.
It is not improper for an attorney who is also a county Commissioner to practice before circuit
judges even though the county commission exercises control of the court’s space allotment,
budget and supplemental salary.


Chairman Holcomb stated the opinion of the committee:
The following question was presented to the Committee:
“Is it proper for a member of the Bar, who is also a County Commissioner, to
actively try cases before a Circuit Court whose allotment of space, departmental
budget and supplemental salary are controlled by the County Commission of
which the particular member of the Bar is a member?”
We find no impropriety in such action on the part of the County Commissioner. To hold
otherwise would be to rule that members of the Legislature, who have control over salaries and
other features of practice before circuit and other judges, would be unable to practice at all.
Admittedly, it would be possible for a judge to be influenced by the ability of the attorney
in his capacity as a County Commissioner to influence his work conditions and salary, but we
feel that the probabilities are so slight that no ruling should be made against such practice.