FLORIDA BAR ETHICS OPINION
November 27, 1967
Advisory ethics opinions are not binding.
A member of The Florida Bar who is employed by a nationally known corporation as
general counsel in New York City but plans to handle a limited number of legal matters on
monthly visits to Florida, may continue to maintain an office in the suite of his present firm and
to continue a listing of his individual name on the firm stationery.
Note: Lawyer advertising rules are now in Rules Regulating The Florida Bar 4-7.11
Chairman MacDonald stated the opinion of the committee:
A member of The Florida Bar has been employed by a nationally known corporation in a
capacity of general counsel, and will serve in that capacity with offices principally in New York
City and on occasion in a metropolitan Florida community. He has moved his home from the
latter community to New York, but plans to “handle a limited number of legal matters requiring
my personal attention” on monthly visits to Florida. In the latter respect he inquires as to the
propriety of his continuing to maintain an office in the suite of his present firm, and to continue a
listing of his individual name on the firm stationery. (His family name will necessarily remain in
the firm name because of the membership in the firm of relatives.) As we understand it, the
amount of private practice will be relatively inconsequential, and stems primarily from a desire
to handle pending matters and matters of importance to long standing clients. In other words, for
all practical purposes this member of The Florida Bar will serve as a full-time corporate
employee with only incidental non-corporate employment.
In our Opinion 66-19 [since withdrawn] we indicated that a bona fide private practitioner
who was not a full-time employee of the involved entity could not properly categorize himself as
general counsel. In this instance we are in effect presented with the converse of that situation.
Based upon the particular facts presented, and our understanding above related, this Committee,
three members dissenting, concludes that there is no impropriety in the attorney maintaining his
former office in the suite of his firm in Florida and listing his individual name upon the firm
letterhead, because the small amount of private practice cannot alter his essential status as a
corporate employee. Manifestly, the position as general counsel, which we construe for all
practical purposes to be a full-time position, cannot be utilized for purpose of solicitation or the
feeding of business to his former firm. However, it is evident that this is not the intention of the