FLORIDA BAR ETHICS OPINION
February 15, 1966
Advisory ethics opinions are not binding.
A lawyer may represent a client in connection with a title insurance claim against Lawyers’ Title
Guaranty Fund, even though the lawyer is a member of the Fund, if he makes full and fair
disclosure to the prospective client.
Chairman Kittleson stated the opinion of the committee:
A member of The Florida Bar requested the Committee’s advice on his
proposed representation of a client in connection with a title insurance claim
against Lawyers’ Title Guaranty Fund. He is concerned whether membership in
the Fund, with the financial interest that attaches to membership, causes any
ethical problem with respect to the proposed representation. In other words, he
wants to know whether he may properly undertake to pursue the claim in behalf
of the client, notwithstanding the fact that claims paid by the Fund can adversely
affect all members’ credit accounts in the Fund. The particular claim is relatively
small, and its impact on any one Fund member would be negligible.
The Committee finds no ethical objection to the proposed representation, if full and fair
disclosure is made to the prospective client of membership in the Fund and the
conflict-of-interest indications. Canon 6, entitled “Adverse Influences and Conflicting Interests,”
provides that it is the duty of a lawyer at the time of retainer to disclose to the client all the
circumstances of his relations to the parties, and any interest in or connection with the
controversy, which might influence the client in the selection of counsel.
We are advised that Lawyers’ Title Guaranty Fund has taken a formal and official
position that a member should feel free to represent a claimant in handling a claim against the
Fund as vigorously as he would handle a claim against any other title assuring organization.
The question is touched upon in an article entitled “Lawyers’ Title Guaranty Funds: The
Florida Experience,” appearing in the November, 1965 issue of the American Bar Association