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California State Bar Bans Attorney-Client Sex
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Summary: The State Bar of California has approved a new rule that forbids attorneys from having sex with their clients. 

The State Bar of California doesn’t want attorneys to sex up their clients. Period.

  
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On Thursday, the State Bar approved a new ethics rule that would allow them to discipline lawyers who have sexual relationships with their clients. California already forbids attorneys from coercing their clients into sex or forcing them to exchange sex for legal representation, but the new blanket mandate would prohibit sex between the two parties with a few exceptions.

According to The Associated Press, over twelve other states have similar sex bans, but the new rule in California was still considered controversial when introduced. Supporters stated that any sexual relationship between a lawyer and client is potentially coercive because there is already an inherent inequality between a lawyer and his or her client. Critics of the ban said it was an invasion of privacy.

“The real issue is a philosophical, constitutional one about how intrusive government can be in people’s lives,” attorney James Ham said. Ham did not believe the State Bar should interfere with consensual relations between adults.

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The new rule will go to the California Supreme Court on Thursday, and the Court will have final say. The no-sex rule is a part of a highly-anticipated overhaul of attorney ethics standards, and the last state bar ethics rules revision was in 1987.

Proponents of the no-sex rule said that it was a necessary change because so little could be done against attorney’s sexual misconduct under the current mandates. According to The Associated Press, the bar investigated 205 complaints between September 1992 and January 2010, and under the current standards, only one attorney was disciplined.



The new rule is pretty black and white when it comes to attorneys not sleeping with their clients, but some of the proposed exceptions include consensual relationships that existed prior to the attorney-client relationship.

Source: The Associated Press

What do you think of the new change? Let us know in the comments below. 



 

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