Texas takes a stand and bans lawyer/client sex

By Lawyers Weekly|03 March 2012

It what seems to be a case of stating the obvious, the state of Texas is currently debating an ethics ruling which says that lawyers cannot have sexual relationships with their clients.…

It what seems to be a case of stating the obvious, the state of Texas is currently debating an ethics ruling which says that lawyers cannot have sexual relationships with their clients.

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According to RollOnFriday, Texas has taken seven years to draft its new rules of conduct and according to a report in the Dallas Morning News, the "no sex" issue has been the biggest issue.

The Texas Bar proposal specifies that lawyers cannot make sex a condition of representation, cannot ask for the payment of fees in sex and cannot start a sexual relationship with a client unless they were already well acquainted before the start of the lawyer-client relationship.

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But for some reason, according to RollOnFriday, Texas lawyers are concerned that under the new rules clients may invent sex stories leading to a mass of unjustified malpractice claims.

Houston lawyer Rich Robbins apparently asked how such accusations could be disproved "unless all prior interactions are elaborately recorded through audio and video means".

In contrast, Austin lawyer Ginny Agnew thinks the proposed rule does not go far enough, and is concerned about a loophole which would allow a lawyer to start a sexual relationship with a client as long as the client was then transferred to another lawyer within in the firm.

"For two-thirds of the Bar, the rule would permit sex with clients. The rule would not adequately protect clients - male or female - from predatory lawyers," Agnew warned.

Folklaw is assuming that most Australian lawyers would recognise their ethical responsibilities when it comes to their clients and stay away from such behaviour - loophole or not.

Texas takes a stand and bans lawyer/client sex
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