The Florida Bar

Ethics Opinion

Opinion 65-12

February 27, 1965
Advisory ethics opinions are not binding.
A lawyer who is legal counsel for the trust department of a bank may properly prepare guidelines
for preparation of trusts that will be acceptable to the bank, in order that the bank may distribute
the guidelines to other lawyers who are drafting trust instruments under which the bank will
serve as trustee.


Chairman Smith stated the opinion of the committee:
A member of The Florida Bar states that he represents the trust department of
a bank. It is the policy of that trust department to employ the attorney for a
particular trust who has brought the trust to the bank. Before the trust is accepted,
it is the inquiring lawyer’s duty to review the same and approve it from the bank’s
standpoint. In this connection, he has been requested to prepare guidelines for the
use of the attorneys preparing such trusts. These guidelines would be given to any
lawyer making inquiry preparatory to the drafting of a trust agreement. The
inquiry is if there is any ethical impropriety in preparing such guidelines, as
requested by the bank. In particular, he inquires if Canon 35 would be violated.
It is the unanimous opinion of this Committee that there would be no ethical impropriety
in preparing such guidelines provided the same are prepared for distribution only to attorneys.
Two members of the Committee suggest that such guidelines should be submitted in the
name of the bank.