FLORIDA BAR ETHICS OPINION
May 23, 1969
Advisory ethics opinions are not binding.
A lawyer should not contact a juror after the discharge of the jury for any purpose before filing
notice with the court. Some appropriate statement of the basis for challenge of the verdict should
be included in this notice.
Note: Hearings prior to post-trial contacts with jurors in civil cases are governed by
Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.431(h). For a discussion of this issue in criminal cases,
see Roland v. State, 584 So.2d 68 (Fla. 1st DCA 1991).
In re: Canons of Ethics, 186 So.2d 509 (Fla. 1966)
Chairman MacDonald stated the opinion of the committee:
A member of The Florida Bar makes the following inquiries concerning
Canon 23 as amended by the Supreme Court of Florida, 186 So.2d 509 (Fla.
1. May I contact a juror, after the jury has been discharged, in any manner
and for any reason, prior to filing the written “Notice of Intention to Interview?”
2. Must the written notice of intention to interview set forth the reason or
reasons why I believe that ground for challenge of the verdict may exist?
3. After filing the written notice of intention to interview, may I proceed to
discuss the case with the juror before a hearing is set on the written notice before
the trial judgment, with notice to opposing counsel?
We sound again the warning which we sounded in our Opinion 66-47 that this Canon has
apparently received but sparse judicial interpretation, and most importantly, none by the
Supreme Court of Florida; we do this in view of the fact that the language added to the proposal
of The Florida Bar (more particularly discussed in 66-47) is the focal point of the instant
questions. With this reminder, we answer the questions as follows:
1. In light of the fact that the Canon seems to be all-encompassing, we do not think that a
lawyer should contact a juror after the jury has been discharged for any purpose before filing the
notice required by the Canon, subject, of course, to the possibility of casual and noninvited
contacts considered in our 66-47.
2. Two members dissenting, the Committee feels that the intent of the amendment to the
Canon is at least sufficiently clear to require that some appropriate statement of the basis for the
challenge of the jury verdict be placed in the notice. Accordingly, we answer the second question
in the affirmative.
3. We find no requirement in the Canon that a hearing be held before the interview, but
only that the notice be filed, and we therefore answer the third question in the negative.