FLORIDA BAR ETHICS OPINION
July 23, 1969
Advisory ethics opinions are not binding.
Provided an informed consent to such representation is procured from both litigants, and
provided the board of directors is completely removed from the relationship between a staff
attorney and the defendant, a staff attorney of a legal services corporation may defend an action
brought by a plaintiff represented by an attorney who is a member of the board of directors.
Chairman MacDonald stated the opinion of the committee:
We are asked by a member of the Board of Directors of the Lee County Legal Aid
Society, Inc., an OEO-funded legal services corporation, analogous to the one considered in our
66-56 [since withdrawn], whether the staff attorney employed by the corporation may properly
represent a defendant in an action brought by a plaintiff represented by an attorney who is a
member of the Board of Directors.
Providing an informed consent to such representation is procured from both litigants (and
it is highly advisable that such consent should be procured in written form) and provided that the
Board of Directors is completely removed from any connection with the attorney-client
relationship between the staff attorney and the defendant, we see no harm in the proposed
In our judgment, it is preferable for the charter and appropriate bylaws of the corporation
to provide that the Board of Directors is specifically enjoined from interfering in any manner
with the attorney-client relationships formed between the staff attorney and his client. Compare
the operational procedures outlined in 66-56.