The Florida Bar

Ethics Opinion

Opinion 66-75

January 30, 1967
Advisory ethics opinions are not binding.
A law firm may belong to a downtown council organized to promote civic interest in the
downtown portion of a metropolitan community.


Chairman MacDonald stated the opinion of the committee:
A member of The Florida Bar inquires as to the propriety of his law firm
joining a downtown council, a non-profit corporation organized to promote the
interests of the downtown portion of his metropolitan community. It would be
understood that in the event his firm joined, the council would be instructed to list
the membership in one or more names of the partners of the firm as individuals
(none of whom would be designated as attorneys at law), and that the firm name
would not be carried on the membership rolls as such. The firm’s offices are
located in the downtown area in question and the firm maintains an
understandable interest in the objectives of the council to modernize and
re-develop the area.
We see no ethical objection in any way whatever to the proposed membership in this
council. The Canons of Ethics were not designed to stifle or preclude legitimate civic
contributions by attorneys to the betterment of their several communities. Indeed the training and
experience of the lawyer in many instances peculiarly equips him to render service in these
important aspects of community life. Thus it appears that the proposed membership is not only
not objectionable, but also is salutary.