So how long do you have to wait before you can date a former client?
There's no definitive time period, or even a guideline, except that lawyers should use the action itself, not the representation, as their benchmark, and should use caution.
Welcome to the first in what we hope to be a continuing series called "Ethical Dilemma of the Week," in which we try to make sense out of strange P. quandaries that lawyers may or may not find themselves in.
You Had Me at 'Summary Judgment' States using the ABA Model Rules have a pretty clear guideline: "A lawyer shall not have sexual relations with a client unless a consensual sexual relationship existed between them when the client-lawyer relationship commenced." California, one of the states that bucks the ABA rule trend, permits sexual relations with a current client unless and until "such sexual relations cause the member to perform legal services incompetently in violation of rule 3-110." But what about former clients?
), but it is a clear line that is established in our program from the start – and constantly reinforced.
In the case of workplace dating, perception is everything!
What may seem benign and in fact positive to some can come back to bite the employees and supervisors faster than you can say “Sexual Harassment.” At Johns Hopkins University, our fitness program has strict boundaries on employee dating.
Instead of devaluing your work and that of other freelancers, have some respect and charge what you’re worth! We’ve all been in relationships where we felt we were giving 110% and the other person was giving nothing. Remember this when you’re chasing down a client who can’t commit or when you’re trying to please someone who seems like they just can’t be pleased no matter what you do. Success begets success, whether you’re a newly engaged guy suddenly surrounded by eligible women or a freelancer who just landed a big project and has several more clients banging down his door.
It’s smart business to follow up a few times and always carry out your end of the bargain, but at some point we have to accept that “they’re just not that into us” and move on to clients who can appreciate us and value our work. When we’re in a period of stability and success, we tend to attract more of it – sometimes more than we know what to do with.
If you’re newly engaged, I hope you’ll share the wealth with your single friends.
Once representation is complete, the client isn't a client anymore, so lawyers in ABA Model Rule jurisdictions should be free to date to their hearts' content.
Indeed, just last year, the Louisiana Supreme Court declined to apply to former clients the prohibition on dating current clients.