The Florida Bar

Ethics Opinion

Opinion 71-17

June 21, 1971
Advisory ethics opinions are not binding.
An attorney employed as legal counsel for a juvenile court may conduct a private practice in the
same county. The Committee’s expressed disapproval of prosecutors acting as defense counsel
does not apply because juvenile offenses are not considered crimes.


Chairman Massey stated the opinion of the committee:
A member of The Florida Bar has an associate employed as legal counsel for
the juvenile court. He asks if this fact would, under Florida Opinion 70-11[since
withdrawn], affect his practice or his other partners and associates in the county in
which the firm is domiciled or other counties for that matter.
The inquiry is somewhat general. However, the Committee advises that 70-11 [since
withdrawn] in and of itself is inapplicable to juvenile court as juvenile offenses are not
considered to be crimes. On the other hand, the inquirer should be aware that he, his partners and
associates should avoid any conflict of interest positions wherein the legal counsel for the
juvenile court would have been involved in a proceeding with the juvenile and his family in that
court, while the family or others who were related to the juvenile proceeding would require legal
representation which does or may conflict with some knowledge gained or the position taken in
behalf of the juvenile.