The Legal Opinions Committee has participated in preparation and issuance of the Report on Third-Party Legal Opinion Customary Practice in Florida, which completely replaces all prior pronouncements of The Florida Bar on this subject, and is the result of more than five years of joint effort by the Legal Opinion Standards Committee of The Florida Bar Business Law Section and the Legal Opinions Committee of The Florida Bar Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section. The Report was approved by the Executive Council of the Real Property and Probate and Trust Law Section in December, 2011.
The Report reflects a consensus regarding customary practice for issuance of opinions of Florida counsel to third parties in commercial transactions involving the sale or financing of Florida real estate, covers a wide range of opinion letter issues encountered by lawyers in our state, and provides reliable guidance regarding: (i) the nature and meaning of many standard opinions requested by lenders and sellers in typical transactions; and, (ii) the diligence recommended to render those opinions. The Report also includes a section on local counsel opinions that is intended to help Florida lawyers who are acting as local counsel to understand the unique issues that arise when counsel acts in that role, and further includes five illustrative forms covering most of the commercial transactions in which legal opinions are used.
The Committee's major objective is to make the Report available to all Florida attorneys who issue third party opinions, and has a continuing mission to monitor state and national statutory, case law and professional bar committee developments in the issuance of third party legal opinions with periodic updates of the Report to incorporate beneficial changes.