The Florida Bar

Ethics Opinion

Opinion 67-14

July 24, 1967
Advisory ethics opinions are not binding.
A lawyer may not accept employment by a real estate broker to prepare a deed for use by the
broker in closing a real estate transaction when the lawyer would have no contact with either
party to the transaction.

ABA Informal 508

Chairman MacDonald stated the opinion of the committee:
We are asked by a member of The Florida Bar whether he may properly
accept employment by a broker for the purpose of preparing a deed in an
uncomplicated real estate transaction. Such deed would then be returned to the
broker who would close the real estate transaction, collecting a minimal fee from
the seller and remitting to the lawyer without the lawyer ever being in contact
with either party to the real estate transaction.
We conclude that the law of Florida still is that a broker may not draft a deed, Keyes v.
Dade County Bar Association, 46 So.2d 605 (Fla. 1950), Cooperman v. West Coast Title
Company, 75 So.2d 818 (Fla. 1954), and Florida Bar v. McPhee, 195 So.2d 552 (Fla. 1967).
Thus we are not confronted with a consideration of whether, assuming the broker could properly
draft a deed, he might properly retain legal assistance in his own right to aid such preparation.
Moreover, we are not confronted with a situation such as that described in Cooperman, supra,
wherein the issuance of title insurance and the preparation of various documents in satisfaction
of the requirements of the insurer were involved.
On the facts before us, which in essence involve the intervention of a broker between the
lawyer and the client, we have no hesitancy in concurring in Informal Opinion 508 of the
American Bar Association (1962), disapproving this practice in essence on the ground that such
a transaction is devoid of the personal contact which should exist between attorney and client.