FLORIDA BAR ETHICS OPINION
July 12, 1968
Advisory ethics opinions are not binding.
It would not be appropriate for an associate of a state attorney to accept appointment as counsel
for criminal defendants under the provisions of the Federal Indigent Criminal Defense Act or to
appear for criminal defendants in the municipal court in his community.
Chairman MacDonald stated the opinion of the committee:
We are asked by an associate of a state attorney in a metropolitan Florida
community whether it would be appropriate for him to accept appointment as
counsel for criminal defendants under the provisions of the Federal Indigent
Criminal Defense Act and thus appear for the defendant in the United States
District Court in his community, and secondly, whether it would be proper for
him to participate in the defense of persons charged with violations of municipal
ordinances in the local municipal court. Of course, it is evident the state attorney
is not the prosecutor in either of the courts mentioned.
It is our opinion that the nexus between the state attorney and the local police is so close
in this and other similar metropolitan Florida communities that it would not be appropriate for
the inquirer to appear for any defendants in the municipal court. Moreover, there appearing to be
no shortage of available counsel to appear for indigent defendants in the United States District
Court in question, it would not appear to us to be advisable for the inquirer to accept these