What Is an Attorney's Opinion Letter?

By Hannah Maarv
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An attorney opinion letter is a document addressed to either his client or the institution where his client is sending the letter, verifying that to the best of his knowledge, the client is in compliance with the relevant law. Mostly commonly, attorney opinion letters may be required for transactions with lenders, contracting between individuals and as a type of defense against malicious wrongdoing in litigation.

Financial Transaction Letter -- State of the Business

A bank can require an opinion letter from the borrower's attorney. The borrower has to provide to his attorney an opportunity to go through all the financial documents pertaining to the business. After reviewing the documents, the attorney writes a letter assuring the bank that he reviewed the financials and according to his expert opinion as an attorney, the business is in compliance with the law and is solvent.

Finacial Transactions Letter -- Real Property

A bank may require an attorney opinion letter from a person who wants to borrow against his home or other land property. After studying the deed and any other information relevant to ownership of the house, the attorney, in his letter, assures the bank, that the property is owned by the borrower and that there are no other second or third mortgages already on the property.

Contracting Letter

A business entering into a contract can a request an opinion letter from the other business' attorney, certifying that the main parts of the contract are legally enforceable. In the opinion letter, the attorney assures the other business that the contract is specific enough to be enforceable in court and that the remedies provided for breach of the contract are also enforceable.

Opinion Letter to Client

A client may ask his attorney to write a letter addressed to the client explaining the legality of decisions made when complying with business regulations, such as safety regulations, corporate filing requirements and taking tax deductions. In case of litigation, the client may be able to use the attorney letter to show that when filing his taxes, he relied on an expert opinion and attempted to comply with the law to the best of his ability.

About the Author

Based in Washington, D.C., Hannah Maarv has been a writer and a researcher since 2006. She specializes in law, culture and religion. Her articles have appeared online at Womenslaw and Patheos. Maarv holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and anthropology from Rutgers College and a Juris Doctor from the George Washington University Law School.