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Dating former clients and ethics

Alaska and Pennsylvania have issued ethics opinions advising that the relationship is unethical.While this list may not be entirely up-to-date, the clear trend among states is toward specifically prohibiting consensual attorney-client sexual contact during representation.Under the new code, counselors are ethically prohibited from engaging in sexual relationships not only with clients but also clients’ partners or family members (Standard A.5.a.).Another substantive revision is the extension of the time ban on sexual relationships with former clients.The rule– banning sex between lawyer and client unless they are married, or engaged in a consensual relationship that began before the representation, according to a summary–was rejected by 72% of the lawyers voting. with clients," SMU law professor Linda Eads told Texas Lawyer, a contention disputed by others who believe that conflict of interest and breach of fiduciary duty rules are sufficient.

Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Hawaii and Texas have issued disciplinary decisions holding that such relations during representation violate the rules of professional conduct.This is an odd bit of arcana that has survived repeated questioning, particularly since many experts consider sexual relations with a client of any stripe (whether former lovers or not) prohibited in the first instance by conflict of interest and breach of fiduciary rules.ABA Rule 1.7 Conflict Of Interest: Current Clients declares it unethical to accept a client when…The cookies contain no personally identifiable information and have no effect once you leave the Medscape site., we concluded by promising another entry on the thorny problem of conducting personal relationships with clients and/or their spouses.The recent revision of the ACA Code of Ethics significantly changes the ethical guidelines related to dual relationships.Careful review of the specific ethics code language addressing dual relationships is imperative in order to navigate this prevalent ethical issue.This is a temptation that seems to be irresistible to many, with legion stories cataloging bad behavior and worse– everything from the divorce lawyer who got caught in the courthouse literally with his pants down with his mentally unstable client seeking custody of her three kids to the criminal lawyer who "loved" her poor, black diminished capacity client onto death row and a lethal injection.Even "The Good Wife," one of the best portrayals of the legal workplace to hit TV, took on the subject last year when Diane Lockhart of Lockhart & Gardner took as a client her flirty ballistics expert and then proceeded, between protestations about ethics, to take him as a lover as well.For those who feel they can’t control the impulse, knowing the variations in rules and punishments in these jurisdictions can be critical.In California, for example, evidently an attorney may sleep with his (or her) clients so long as the attorney does not make sex a condition of representation.


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