UPL Update October 15, 2003 Regular News The advisory opinion process Jeffrey T. Picker Assistant UPL CounselI am often asked whether a certain activity constitutes the unlicensed practice of law. The answer to this question can be found primarily in case law. But what if there is no case law addressing the particular activity? This is where the formal advisory opinion process comes into play. The next few columns will discuss this process.Rule 10-9.1 of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar sets forth the formal advisory opinion process in UPL matters. The rule requires that a written request for a formal opinion be submitted in the form of a hypothetical, providing all the relevant facts to the UPL Department, The Florida Bar, 651 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee 32399-2300. The question must not be the issue in a pending lawsuit and must ask whether the activity is the unlicensed practice of law.If the request complies with the above requirements, it will be placed on the agenda of the next meeting of the Standing Committee on Unlicensed Practice of Law. The standing committee usually meets three or four times per year. At the meeting the committee will decide whether to hold a public hearing on the request. In the past, the committee has voted to hold a public hearing in matters of first impression or of statewide importance.The next column will discuss what happens at the hearing and after.