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Thread: Improper Relationship with Client New Jersey

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    live in PA, work in NJ

    Default Improper Relationship with Client New Jersey

    My area is behavioral healthcare, and the only time I have contact with attorneys is when something awful is happening. But a question came up at my colleague's organization, and I was shocked that neither he nor I could find a ready answer.

    In behavioral health, licensed professionals like psychologists, social workers, etc, have to follow a code of ethics to maintain their license. If they are ever found to have had an improper relationship with a client, they would risk their license to practice. But I could find no similar code of ethics, regulations, or statutes in my state (NJ) for attorneys.

    I guess common sense tells me that if an attorney had a sexual relationship with a client it would be unethical. But I can't find anything to back this up.
    All I could find about attorney ethics in NJ is how consumers can make complaints for malpractice, and how attorneys have been censured or disbarred for financial improprieties. There is a pledge of "professionalism" but it's really about advising clients properly and treating them with respect. Nothing about improper relationships.

    Can someone tell me where I might find this info? Or is it not necessarily an ethical problem for an attorney to have a sexual relationship with a client like it is in healthcare?
    What about a corporate client? Would that make a difference?

    Thanks to anyone who can point me in the right direction.

    Note: I did find the American Bar Association's Model Code for Professional Conduct, but although that code prohibits sexual rel'ps, the NJ version doesn't seem to. Any ideas as to why?
    Last edited by TSCompliance; 10-28-2008 at 09:14 AM. Reason: updated info

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