Texas Lawyers Reject Ban on Sex with Clients

Posted on | March 17, 2011 | 10 Comments

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Remember the proposal I blogged about here?

Well, here is the result.  It will not shock you….

Members of the State Bar of Texas have rejected a proposed change in the ethics rules that would have barred sex with clients.

The rule would have banned sex between lawyer and client unless they were married, or engaged in a consensual relationship that began before the representation, according to a summary (PDF) posted at the state bar website. The rule was rejected by 72 percent of the lawyers voting, according to the posted results (PDF).

The sex-with-clients proposal was grouped with two other proposed rule changes. One allows lawyers to take action to protect clients with diminished capacity. The other governs conflicts of interest created by disclosures by prospective clients.

The sex-with-clients ban was one of several proposed amendments to the Texas disciplinary rules that were presented to the state’s lawyers in the form of six ballot questions, Texas Lawyer reports. All were rejected, some by 80 percent of the vote. The Careerist noted the failed sex-with-clients ban.

Writing at his blog Defending People, criminal defense lawyer Mark Bennett says he sees no problem with the sex-with-clients ban or the two other amendments that were grouped with it. But he argues that the state law governing the ethics referendum required each amendment to be presented separately rather than in the form of “six inexplicable agglomerations of proposed rules.” Other opponents argued that Texas should wait until the ABA’s Commission on Ethics 20/20 completes its review of the model ethics rules.

What’s next? Lillian Hardwick, an Austin solo who chaired a state bar rules committee, told Texas Lawyer she hopes the state supreme court will adopt rule changes despite the lawyer vote. “The court can promulgate the rules on its own,” she said.

Hardwick elaborated in an interview with the ABA Journal. She said the Texas Supreme Court has both the inherent authority and the obligation to regulate law practice in the state. Asked why lawyers rejected the sex-with-clients ban, she said it was likely more of a protest vote over the amendment process.

“I think people got a certain amount of satisfaction from pulling the lever,” she said.


Oh, Texas, you have made me so proud.  Way to go!


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10 Responses to “Texas Lawyers Reject Ban on Sex with Clients”

  1. Texas Lawyers Reject Ban on Sex with Clients – Paralegal Hell « Law Yarns
    March 17th, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

    […] Nonstop here: Texas Lawyers Snub Ban &#959n Sex including Clients – Paralegal Hell […]

  2. Texas Lawyers Reject Ban on Sex with Clients – Paralegal Hell
    March 17th, 2011 @ 2:31 pm

    […] See th&#1077 original post &#1072t th&#1110&#1109 time: Texas Lawyers Reject Ban &#959n Sex w&#1110th Clients – Paralegal Hell […]

  3. Grumpy Humbug
    March 17th, 2011 @ 3:40 pm

    Stuff like this is why the other 49 states point and laugh so often at Texas.

  4. Paralegal
    March 17th, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

    Hey! Valid point, but shut up :)

  5. Grumpy Humbug
    March 17th, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

    At least I didn’t mention Jerry Jones. Wanted to.

  6. Mark Bennett
    March 17th, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

    In fact, I did have a big problem with Rule 1.17: “what a prospective client tells a lawyer should be confidential, and a lawyer shouldn’t be asking a prospective client to waive that confidentiality.”

  7. Paralegal
    March 17th, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

    Hey Mark! Thanks for commenting. I linked your post so the readers could get another perspective about Question D.

  8. Texas Lawyers Reject Ban on Sex with Clients – Paralegal Hell | Legal and Law Info
    March 17th, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

    […] More: Texas Lawyers Reject Ban &#959n Sex w&#1110th Clients – Paralegal Hell […]

  9. The Extortionist
    March 18th, 2011 @ 1:35 am

    I thought this was to prevent attorneys from charging clients twice for essentially the same service :)

  10. Paralegal
    March 18th, 2011 @ 2:02 am

    OMG! I can’t stop laughing at your comment :)

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