Above the Law has a post about whether attorneys should be allowed to have sex with their clients. The post mentions that California and Texas are considering banning sex with clients in most situations. The proposed language is very similar to Rule 1.8(j) of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct provides that a "lawyer shall not have sexual relations with a client unless a consensual sexual relationship existed between them when the client-lawyer relationship commenced." The Illinois Supreme Court has adopted this rule effective January 1, 2010. From Above the Law:
The California State Bar Association is considering a change to the professional rules of conduct to “prohibit sex with clients unless they are spouses or the relations preceded the lawyer-client relationship,” according to The Recorder. The Texas Supreme Court is suggesting the same type of thing in the Lone Star state, according to the Texas Lawyer.
The American Bar Association generally frowns on lawyers getting into their clients’ briefs. The argument against taking discovery to the bedroom is that sexy time undermines an attorney’s ability to give objective advice and to keep his or her interest from limiting that of the client.
On the other hand, regulating bed behavior potentially violates a lawyer’s privacy and the right to freedom of association.
ATL readers, we turn the debate over to you. Is it okay for lawyers to be their clients’ master debaters and masturbators? Moving beyond the theoretical, how many of you have actually had to grapple with this? Take our polls and hear some stories, after the jump.
When we write about lawyer-client sex here at ATL, it’s usually of the problematic variety. See the story of Stanford grad James Tipler, who made his clients pay their legal fees with sexual favors. Or the story of 72-year-old personal injury attorney Allen Isaac who wanted a blow job as part of his retention fee. Or the story of Washington state divorce lawyer Lowell Halverson who was disciplined by the Washington Supreme Court for repeatedly having affairs with his emotionally distraught clients.