Canadian law societies do regulate lawyer-client sex in a limited way. She promised to pay him back from her share of the sale proceeds of the family home. And as for Alberta, I think it is unconscionable to have a code that makes no mention whatsoever of the general risks that arise from lawyer-client sex. As one of my students noted, the client may simply not want to have a personal and sexual conversation in circumstances where they are seeking legal advice or representation; Lawyers and clients cannot reliably assess the risks of mixing a sexual and professional relationship. The freedom to have sex with their lawyer?
Is a sexual relationship between a lawyer and his client considered a punishable ethical breach? Clients can be vulnerable across a range of matters, and restricting the commentary to family law seems hard to justify. Some people in the legal profession may think that benefit considerable enough to offset the risks. With respect to Ontario, I agree that sex with a family law client is very likely to be problematic. Almost all law societies prohibit sexual harassment. That lack of clarity can confuse lawyers and inhibit regulation see, e. When a lawyer has sex with the person who instructs them there is a substantial risk that the lawyer will prefer the interest of that person to the interests of the actual client, the organization. Or, to be precise: The freedom to have sex with their lawyer? I am persuaded by the arguments in favour of the ABA rule, largely for the reasons just noted. Even if the lawyer does not commit sexual harassment, the client may feel awkward and uncomfortable if their professional advisor suggests sex. In addition, there is a risk that a lawyer may not provide the independent advice and representation necessary to ensure the proper administration of justice See, e. Should lawyers have the same ethical edicts as doctors in Canada? Eventually her home sold, but she refused to reimburse Mr. And as the ABA notes, it may become difficult to discern what is and what is not a confidential and privileged communication; Risks may also arise simply from a lawyer pursuing a sexual relationship with the client. His loan to her, which he did not disclose to his law firm was the basis for their finding that Mr. Sex—especially new sex—pretty reliably makes people stupid. And as for Alberta, I think it is unconscionable to have a code that makes no mention whatsoever of the general risks that arise from lawyer-client sex. She promised to pay him back from her share of the sale proceeds of the family home. What about a client seeking advice after being sexually assaulted? Macri began a consensual sexual relationship with his client, a coupling that both hoped would continue after her family law matters were completed. Alberta has also not adopted the FLS Commentary. If it were me, I would want going to a lawyer and going to the doctor to be the same—an interaction where no one expects or hopes for sexual attention. The hearing tribunal found that Mr. While physicians who engage in sexual activities with their patients are subject to removal from their profession, there is no similar policy with respect to lawyers.
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