Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Sometimes They Can't Pay

There's a ruckus in California as the state bar prepares new ethics rules.  The biggest bone of contention is a rule to ban all sex between lawyer and client.

Certain situations are already considered unethical--coercive sex, to pick an obvious example.  But some feel any sexual relationship is unequal, and so want to create a bright line rule.

People are making lots of jokes, but underneath is a serious matter, and a clash of world views.  There are those who see all sorts of sexual relationships as unfair and want to ban them or punish those involved.  I think a better view of relationships is, by and large, they're not anyone's business.  Sex between consenting adults should be presumed acceptable, and that presumption should only be overturned if there are excellent reasons to do so.  What the bar is suggesting is far from excellent.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe they just limit the rule to divorce lawyers. Really no one, whether a client or not, should have sex with those creatures. Think of it as protecting the gene pool

2:42 PM, November 30, 2016  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lawyers in Love. Sounds catchy.

4:23 PM, November 30, 2016  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Say, aren't you a lawyer?

I still think of one opportunity that was rather painful to eschew.

Even so, while I think of myself as anti-rule and pro-libertarian, this strikes me as a good rule. It probably protects lawyers most of all, since the risk of post hoc rationalizations is much greater for them.

5:50 PM, November 30, 2016  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No commingling FUNDS. FUNDS.

8:19 PM, November 30, 2016  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, protecting lawyers from themselves. ColumbusGuy knows just how the nanny state likes to talk.

8:58 PM, November 30, 2016  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Er, that's your basic agency problem. They say they're protecting clients, but they aren't.

3:07 AM, December 01, 2016  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

FWIW, Colorado has that ethics rule, with obvious exceptions for clients/lawyers who were already in a relationship before the attorney/client relationship was established. Lyrics from one of the Law Club's many songs on the subject:

(Tune: “The Band Played On.”)
See People v. Dougherty, 76 P.3d 491, 517 (Colo.O.P.D.J. 2003)

Casey would dance with the strawberry blond
As her trial went on
She was client in sight but his mistress at night.
- As her trial went on.

And when it was over and she was in clover
She danced - to a different refrain.
Her grievance line call was poor Casey’s downfall.
- As his trial went on.

The lawyer is Sara, the client is Dash
As his trial went on.
And her hand in his pocket was not for his cash
- As his trial went on.

That Rule one point seven won’t take you to Heaven
You must keep your hands to yourself.
So don’t get too fond of that client who’s blonde.
As his trial goes on.

9:02 AM, December 01, 2016  
Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

Rather interesting about the grandfather rule. I'm a bit surprised that hasn't been adopted, to preclude representation of people close to you. I guess it's an example of reality interfering with ethics, and ethics just can't handle the load.

2:47 AM, December 02, 2016  

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