Attorney Sleeps With Client’s Wife
Good news! It’s OK to sleep with your client’s wife in Mississippi! The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled that slipping your client’s wife the salami doesn’t establish a breach of fiduciary duty. The client was also the attorney’s “best friend.” Oh, yes, this attorney has that necessary snark factor I blogged about yesterday.
“I was surprised that an attorney can have sexual relations with a client’s spouse and that it’s not a breach of fiduciary duty,” said attorney Phillip Brookins of the Walker Group, who is representing the ex-client. I was surprised too, but under the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, you can even f*ck a client, as long as the relationship started before the matter did:
Model Rules of Professional Conduct Client-Lawyer Relationship
Rule 1.8 Conflict Of Interest: Current Clients: Specific Rules (j) A lawyer shall not have sexual relations with a client unless a consensual sexual relationship existed between them when the client-lawyer relationship commenced.
The rule is silent as to a client’s spouse, so I say they’re fair game. However, it wasn’t a total victory:
Although the supreme court decision (PDF) yesterday reversed a trial court’s denial of summary judgment to the defendants concerning the affair-related breach claim, the case is continuing to move forward concerning additional claims of alienation of affection and negligent infliction of emotional distress against the partner, who is a former president of Baker Donelson.