Lawyer dating a client
If the litigation was “contentious,” it was almost certainly due in part to the Respondent’s own interest.” make your lawyer your boyfriend, don’t make your boyfriend your lawyer, and if you’re a lawyer, don’t try to simultaneously be a boy friend and her lawyer while your girl friend is going through a divorce.[NOTE: In an earlier version of this post, I relied on a news source that suggested that Zelotes was found to be in violation of the Connecticut rule against commencing intimate relations with clients.This was not the case, and I have corrected the post with the assistance of the Grievance Committee ruling which was graciously sent to me by Mr. (1) the transaction and terms on which the lawyer acquires the interest are fair and reasonable to the client and are fully disclosed and transmitted in writing in a manner that can be reasonably understood by the client;(2) the client is advised in writing of the desirability of seeking and is given a reasonable opportunity to seek the advice of independent legal counsel on the transaction; and(3) the client gives informed consent, in a writing signed by the client, to the essential terms of the transaction and the lawyer's role in the transaction, including whether the lawyer is representing the client in the transaction.(b) A lawyer shall not use information relating to representation of a client to the disadvantage of the client unless the client gives informed consent, except as permitted or required by these Rules.(c) A lawyer shall not solicit any substantial gift from a client, including a testamentary gift, or prepare on behalf of a client an instrument giving the lawyer or a person related to the lawyer any substantial gift unless the lawyer or other recipient of the gift is related to the client.If Zelotes is twice as effective when he’s in love with his client, then he’s not adequately zealous when he isn’t.To say that he works harder for those he loves is virtually an admission of unprofessional conduct. Anger, fear, hate—these all are impediments to sound practice, and so is love. Sometimes it is a lawyer’s job to tell clients things that will make them unhappy.Behavior by an attorney that conflicts with established rules of professional conduct and is punishable by disciplinary measures.More than any other profession, the legal profession is self-governing.
“…does not appear to understand that his romantic interest in Terry Aliano would be a material limitation on his independent judgment and his legal advice to her regarding not just the litigation of her divorce action, but also issues concerning both her marital status and her position as a parent of minor children.As I have mentioned before, it’s a dumb rule, too broad and too narrow simultaneously, a classic example of how some kinds of unethical conduct do not lend themselves to precise rule-making.The main problem with the no-sex rules is that they are unnecessary.The legal ethics rules are replete with exhortations to maintain objectivity, independent judgment and to avoid conflicts of interest. Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct point out in its comments to Rule 1.7, Conflicts of Interest:“Especially when the client is an individual, the client’s dependence on the lawyer’s knowledge of the law is likely to make the relationship between lawyer and client unequal.Common sense suggests that it is irresponsible to confuse one relationship by adding another; professional standards dictate that combining a professional relationship of independence and with romantic relationships is wrong. A sexual relationship between lawyer and client can involve unfair exploitation of the lawyer’s fiduciary role and thereby violate the lawyer’s basic obligation not to use the trust of the client to the client’s disadvantage.