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32 J. Am. Acad. Matrimonial Law. 499 (2019-2020)
Attorney-Client Sexual Relationships: A Call for All States to Adopt Model Rule 1.8(j)

handle is hein.journals/jaaml32 and id is 525 raw text is: 
Attorney-Client Sexual Relationships


Comment,
ATTORNEY-CLIENT SEXUAL
RELATIONSHIPS: A CALL FOR ALL
STATES TO ADOPT MODEL RULE 1.80)

I. Introduction
     Before 2002, there was no model rule in the American Bar
Association's Rules of Professional Conduct that banned attor-
ney-client sexual relationships.' Before any model rule that lim-
ited such relationships, most states did not have any specific rule
regarding these relations and relied on other rules of professional
conduct when  attorney-sexual relationships would go awry.
     The American  Bar Association's model rule on regulation of
attorney-client sexual relations is Model Rule 1.8(j).2 The rule
states that a lawyer shall not have sexual relations with a client
unless a consensual sexual relationship existed between them
when  the client-lawyer relationship commenced.3 More   than
half of the states have adopted the Model Rule, and others have
versions of the Model  Rule that ban attorney-client sex.4 Yet,
there are still a handful of states that have no explicit rule to ban
these sexual relationships, unless it has some other basis in other
professional conduct rules.
     The latest changes to a state regulation was in California in
May  2018.5 The previous rule allowed attorneys to have sexual
relationships with their clients; they were just not allowed to pro-
position the client for sexual relations before the representation.6
The  new California law allows attorney-client sex if the relation-

    1  Frederick C. Moss & Patricia Chamblin, Lover v. Lawyer: The Sex with
Clients Debate in Texas, 55 ADvOc. (Texas) 48 (Summer 2011).
    2  MODEL RULES OF PROF'L CONDUCT r. 1.8(J) (AM. BAR Ass'N 2018).
    3  Id.
    4  American Bar Association, CPR Policy Implementation Committee,
Variations of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.8(j), https:/
/www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/professional-responsibi
lity/mrpc1-8j.authcheckdam.pdf (Sept. 29, 2017).
    5  Bob Egelko, New California Rule Bans Lawyers from Having Sex with
Clients, SAN FRANcIsco GATE, (May 10, 2018), https://www.sfgate.com/news/
article/New-California-rule-bans-lawyers-from-having-sex-12905698.php.
    6  Neil Wertlieb, Best Behavior: In Addition to Many New Rules of Pro-
fessional Conduct, the State Bar Has Proposed Various Changes to Existing


Vol. 32, 2020


499

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