Tags: california bar | attorney | ethics

California Bar Weighs Ban on Attorney-Client Relations

California Bar Weighs Ban on Attorney-Client Relations

Exterior view of the Airport Courthouse on March 8, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

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Tuesday, 29 November 2016 03:00 PM Current | Bio | Archive

I resisted the temptation to write about this topic as long as I could. I walked. I procrastinated. I took a cold shower. And I was able to hold out for about five minutes before I succumbed to temptation. (I have great water pressure at my house.)

This story is just too good to pass up.

If you asked the first five people you met in the checkout line their opinion of lawyers in general — unless you’re shopping at a gourmet grocery — the consensus would be that the legal profession has been putting it to the public for years. But if the California Bar Association has its way, at least clients will be immune in a sexual sense.

The Associated Press reports the Bar’s rules revision commission has "spent months crafting and amending 70 rules under goals set by the California Supreme Court." The revision would expand the current rule that prohibits lawyers from "coercing a client into sex or demanding sex in exchange for legal representation."

This being a legal group, there are loopholes even in the new rule. If a sexual relationship was in existence before the attorney-client relationship took effect — say a lawyer and his wife — the sex ban would not apply. But there is also no word on how it would apply if previous intra-marital conflict had, shall we say, interrupted conjugal rights the lawyer wants to resume after his wife became a client. Or vice versa.

Practicing safe law will also forbid sex if the result is the lawyer starts to "perform legal services incompetently." "Perform" isn’t the word I would have chosen in this particular instance, but maybe the commission was forbidden to look out for humor.

The change or update is being proposed because it looks like at least one of the commission members has a dirty mind. Daniel Eaton contends the current rule against sex isn’t working because of "a lack of disciplinary action against attorneys." At first I thought maybe he isn’t giving his fellow members of the legal profession credit for their probity, then I remembered this is California and this is sex, so he’s probably right.

Much of sex, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, so I foresee much controversy in the future. As one opponent of the revision says, the new rule is an invasion of privacy.

And speaking of eyes and beholders, another revision will allow the state to "discipline attorneys for discrimination and harassment." I’m all for that. As far as I’m concerned any time a lawyer files suit against me it’s an egregious case of harassment the minute he enters the courthouse door.

Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.

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Reagan
I resisted the temptation to write about this topic as long as I could. I walked. I procrastinated. I took a cold shower. And I was able to hold out for about five minutes before I succumbed to temptation.
california bar, attorney, ethics
484
2016-00-29
Tuesday, 29 November 2016 03:00 PM
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