March 29, 2012
Financial Advice Is Business Transaction
The Florida Supreme Court has disbarred an attorney for "egregious misconduct" in his dealings with an elderly (and now deceased) client.
The attorney also was a financial advisor. He arranged for the sale of annuities to the client prior to her death and was named as personal representative and trustee in an instrument executed weeks before the client died.
The court found that the attorney had a significant personal interest and engaged in a conflict of interest.
The court also rejected the attorney's claim that Rule 1.8(a), the business transaction rule, did not apply to the financial planning services he provided to the client. The court further rejected the suggestion that the attorney need be a party to a transaction for the Rule to apply. (Mike Frisch)
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