FLORIDA BAR ETHICS OPINION
November 16, 1970
Advisory ethics opinions are not binding.
It is permissible for a plaintiff’s attorney to negotiate with adjusters of an insurance carrier that is
represented by defense counsel in the matter, provided such negotiations are with knowledge and
consent of the defense counsel.
Chairman Massey stated the opinion of the committee:
An inquiring attorney advises he represents a client in a wrongful death suit
while the defense counsel is representing the active tortfeasors who are natural
persons and also the insurance carrier. He is confronted with the insurance carrier
requiring that settlement negotiations be handled through an adjuster employed by
the insurance carrier who is not a member of The Florida Bar. The question posed
is whether it is unethical to negotiate with the adjuster, or, alternatively, whether
he is required solely to handle settlement with the defense counsel.
The Committee advises consistent with Florida Opinion 63-19 [since withdrawn] that it is
not improper for a plaintiff’s attorney to negotiate with adjusters of an insurance carrier in
settlement negotiations after all parties to the litigation are represented by counsel, providing
such negotiations are with the knowledge and consent of the defense counsel. This does not
preclude, nor should it preclude, plaintiff’s counsel from negotiating settlement with the attorney
representing the insured, particularly if the insured has interests apart from the insurance
Florida Opinion 65-62 is also reaffirmed and is not altered by the adoption of the Code of