FLORIDA BAR ETHICS OPINION
July 17, 1973
Advisory ethics opinions are not binding.
A lawyer elected to the Florida Legislature may not continue to represent public bodies created
by special acts of the legislature. Such legal activity, if continued, would create a conflict of
interest between his duties as a lawyer and as a public official.
Vice Chairman Daniels stated the opinion of the committee:
A member of The Florida Bar represents two public bodies created by
Special Acts of the Florida Legislature and contemplates seeking election to the
Florida House of Representatives. The inquiring lawyer asks:
Whether, if elected, I can continue to represent the public bodies or would
there be a conflict of interest due to the fact that I would have control over local
legislation which could be processed in behalf of the public bodies?
On election as a Representative, the lawyer would be required to give his undivided
loyalty to his public office and could not accept any law business which would create a conflict
of interest between his duties as a lawyer and as a public officer. Consequently, upon election,
the lawyer could not ethically continue representation of the public bodies. Our former opinion
67-5 [since withdrawn] points out that the public cannot waive a conflict of interest such as that
here involved. The Committee expresses no opinion as to whether a different result might obtain
if the lawyer declined all legislative participation in matters involving the two public bodies.