The Florida Bar

Ethics Opinion

Opinion 64-9

March 12, 1964
Advisory ethics opinions are not binding.
Actual cases should not be discussed in an educational television program. Hypothetical
situations should be substituted.
Caveat: With reference to necessity of the case being hypothetical, compare 67-42.

27, 35 [See current 4-7.11 and 4-7.18(a)]

Chairman Smith stated the opinion of the committee:
A member of The Florida Bar recently inquired of the Professional Ethics Committee
whether a proposed television program to be produced by a Dade County television station in
cooperation with the Dade County Bar Association involves any ethical improprieties. The
program would be of an educational or public information nature and would not be commercially
sponsored. It will consist of interviews by a newsman of a judge or a head of a governmental
agency. The guest will be introduced by name and official title and there will be no other or
further descriptive information. Pending cases and matters will not be discussed but it is possible
that examples will be given in which the actual facts of decided cases may be involved.
This Committee generally encourages the presentation of such programs provided that
they are presented through the auspices of a bar association or some other responsible agency.
The Committee has but one reservation about the program to be presented. The Committee
believes that actual cases should not be discussed and that hypothetical situations should be
substituted therefor. Further, care should be taken to insure that the cases are discussed in general
terms so that the presentation would not be improperly construed as legal advice by which some
members of the public might be misled.