Lombardi Law LLC | SUZANNE LOMBARDI
In Alaska and in most states it is unethical for an attorney to have an affair with a client while they are representing them. The Alaska Bar Association should be contacted and a complaint filed against that attorney if the facts are as you represent them to be.
Answer Applies to: Alaska
Austin Hirschhorn, P.C. | Austin Hirschhorn
While there is nothing in the rules of professional conduct for lawyers that prohibits lawyers from having a social relationship with clients there are reported cases where lawyers that have had sexual relationships with clients have been suspended from practicing law when the client complained to the Attorney Grievance Commission because the lawyer-client relationship had broken down and the lawyer had permitted the relationship to interfere with his duties to the client. My own personal belief is that this should not occur and should not be condoned by the attorney licensing authorities. My own belief is that this sort of conduct is rarely reported and not publicized very often. If you feel that what is going on is in some way interfering with the normal processing of your case, I would suggest that you discuss this with your lawyer and see what he or she recommends.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
THE LOCKHART LAW FIRM | CLAYTON LOCKHART
This kind of conduct is seriously frowned upon by the state bar associations, and not only is the lawyer subjecting himself/herself to being disciplined by the state bar, but there may also be some criminal and civil liabilities involved.
Answer Applies to: Mississippi
Tilton Law Firm | Bradley W. Tilton II
If her attorney had the relationship before the attorney client privilege was created, ie before a contract was signed, then technically that attorney has not violated the ethical rules in Texas. However there could be a conflict issue if you can make that attorney a fact witness in your case (in proving adultry).
Answer Applies to: Texas
Bruning & Associates, PC | Kevin Bruning
The Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct prohibits a lawyer from having sexual relations with the client unless a consensual sexual relationship existed between them when the client-lawyer relationship commenced. Therefore, unless you're spouse and his or her lawyer maintained a consensual sexual relationship before the client-lawyer relationship commenced, any current relationship of that nature is prohibited by the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct, rule 1.8.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Law Office of Grady G Gauthier | Grady G Gauthier
If the sexual relationship will interfere with the attorney's (who you have a sexual relationship with) ability to represent you then the attorney is violating state ethical rules and could be subject to sanctions or be stripped of his/her ability to practice law. However, if the sexual relationship has always been consensual and started prior to representation it may be allowed under state ethical rules for the attorney. Though, given the circumstances here it seems it would be hard for an attorney who is having sexual relations with the client he/she is representing in divorce proceedings to not violate ethical rules regarding conflict of interests with clients. Therefore I would strongly suggest you seek an impartial attorney with whom you have no past relations to represent you in your divorce proceedings.
Answer Applies to: California
Varadi, Hair & Checki, LLC | Galen M. Hair
Your question is interesting. In short, it isn't illegal. But, depending on the exact situation, it may be unprofessional, which could have implications for the lawyer but will not necessarily affect your divorce. With that said, it is advisable to be very careful before making those allegations. For it to be a problem, the lawyer typically must be engaging in sexual intercourse with his/her client during the representation. It does happen sometimes where a client develops an attraction to his/her attorney during the representation and then subsequent to the representation he or she enters into a sexual relationship. I have also seen it occur where a lawyer develops an attraction to his or her client and as a result transfers the case to another attorney to avoid the problem. Because of the delicate details involved, it is usually wise to be very hesitant before making any accusations.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Smith, Gildea & Schmidt | Michael Gene DeHaven
It depends on what you mean by relationship. Adultery in Maryland is defined as engaging in sexual intercourse with someone who is not your spouse. Although adultery is a crime, it is rarely prosecuted. Adultery is difficult to prove, so you should consult with your lawyer before making any such accusation. Also, engaging in a sexual relationship with a client may be unethical. According to Rule 1.7(b) of the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct: A lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation of that client may be materially limited by the lawyer's responsibilities to another client or to a third person, or by the lawyer's own interests, unless: (1) the lawyer reasonably believes the representation will not be adversely affected; and (2) the client consents after consultation. An attorney in Maryland was disbarred because he violated this rule (and others) by; allow(ing) his own personal interests to interfere substantially with his representation of Ms. [the client] Respondent placed his personal interests above those of Ms. [the client] when he had sexual intercourse with her and then later convinced her to perform other sex acts Ms. [the client] was in an unstable emotional state due to her pending divorce litigation and Respondent took advantage of her situation for his own personal interest By these actions, Respondent violated Rule 1.7(b) of the Maryland Rules of Professional Conduct. See AGC v. Culver. However, please note that in the Culver case, his client brought the grievance action against him.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
It isn't a question of "legality" unless adultery is a crime in your state. It is, however, a very serious ethical violation and the attorney could face severe disciplinary action, including loss of his license, if your allegations are true. If you have verifiable information of the affair you should contact the state bar association to file your complaint.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Robert J. Merlin, P.A. | Robert J. Merlin
First of all, you need to make sure that you are not falsely accusing anyone of doing anything. But if they are having an affair, it probably is a violation of Rule 4-8.4(i) of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar. You can file a formal complaint with The Florida Bar about any attorney's conduct, including having an affair with a client, by calling them at 850/561-5600 or going to The Bar's website at http://www.floridabar.org .
Answer Applies to: Florida
Law Offices of Brian J. Lockwood | Brian J. Lockwoood
It may be "legal," i.e. not a crime, but it is frowned upon. However, it generally does not secure an advantage for a litigant. It is considered (generally) a potential ethical issue, not a criminal matter.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
The situation you describe may violate Rule 3-120 of the Rules of Professional Conduct which governs sexual relations with a client. You should consult a family law attorney to review all of the facts and determine what course of action would be appropriate for you.
Answer Applies to: California
Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
If you are talking about a sexual relationship generally no California law supports the policy of the reconciliation. That is why there is a 6 month waiting period. If the divorce is over and there are still property division issues it still looks very bad, but not necessarily illegal. It would not constitute adultery, but there are certainly issues about whether the relationship was forced by the lawyer. That being said, the issue is your wife's not yours.
Answer Applies to: California
WARM SPRINGS LAW GROUP | Elliott D. Yug
I am not aware of any such prohibition in the State of Nevada. That being said, it is definitely not a good idea to do so. Also, I believe that there is such a prohibition in the State of California and that was because of a TV show in which the divorce attorney had affairs with his female clients.
Answer Applies to: Nevada