If you are as big a fan as I am of the brilliant “Sex and the City” series you know the story of Charlotte and Harry. Harry was Charlotte’s divorce attorney. They ended up getting married and had a happy ending. Will this happen to you if you have a crush on your lawyer? Will you end up falling in love or you just want to fool around? We get crushes all the time. And most of the time we get crushed. Having a crush on your lawyer is probably not the best situation you wanted to get in. But as you are now, let’s discuss your options. There are a couple of things to consider before making a decision of what to do in a hopeless crush situation with your lawyer.
First of all, if you have a crush on your lawyer you need to know the consequences in case you act on it. As it is stated on the State Bar website, “In California, we have a specific rule governing sexual relationships between lawyers and clients. This rule explains “for purposes of this rule, “sexual relations” means sexual intercourse or the touching of an intimate part of another person for the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification or abuse.” This is the Rule 3-120.
Both the California Rules of Professional Conduct and the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit lawyers and clients from engaging in “sexual relations” unless they predated the representation. Even then, however, other ethics rules may apply to the extent that sexual involvement may adversely impact the attorney-client relationship. Rough, isn’t it?
This is what might happen. You’ll have a lot of contact with your lawyer, especially if he/she is your divorce attorney. And at times of vulnerability, your lawyer will likely be a source of confidence, assurance, and strength as your case unfolds. But don’t get carried away too fast: the attorney-client relationship is professional, not personal.
So, if we take into consideration the factor of law, the factor of being romantically involved with your attorney being illegal, there are two choices for you. You either decide to keep your feelings deep inside, so inside that they can’t breathe anymore and die, or you need to not be their client anymore.
Only crush on your lawyer or more?
But let’s back up for a second. What is a crush? It is a brief but intense infatuation for someone. Keywords in the previous sentence are “brief” and “intense.” Keep in mind that crushes come and go. And usually, they don’t last. They seem intense at first and what is our next through? I have to act on it. And sometimes it seems like the end of the world. But the important thing is to remember that this is probably and most certainly just a crush: not love. Recognize that what may seem to be romantic feelings are not the real deal. All you are feeling is probably only sexual desires. And a sexual relationship with your lawyer is not based on true feelings.
And ask yourself this question? Is it worth to get my lawyer in trouble only because of a crush? Because a sexual relationship with your lawyer is called to be a sexual abuse. And it is prohibited. Lawyers are routinely disciplined for those kinds of relationships with clients. Frankly, they may be putting their license at risk with a client romance.
Going cold turkey
Let’s say you go with the first choice, which is ignoring the fact that you have a crush on your lawyer. It may sound easier than it actually is. In general, when people have a crush on someone, the first thing they do to get over their crush is ignoring the person. Trying not to see them all the time will help a lot. So, if you have a crush on a waitress of your favorite bar you would just stop going to that bar. As you do not see the person every day, somehow, over time, you get over your feelings.
In the case of having a crush on your lawyer, you need to be aware of the fact that you are going to see them all the time. If your case is at its peak, meaning, the courtroom is becoming your second home; it is unavoidable to see that person every day. And if you are a very self-controlled person it may work for you. But trust me, for most people going cold turkey does not work for too long. I mean, you have feelings for this person. You want to talk to them all the time. You want to see their face all day long. Freakily, you can’t stop smiling and laughing at even the stupidest jokes they make.
But it is an option: denying your feelings.
Just as simple as switching
And of course, there is the second choice you get: switching lawyers. At first, the idea seems brilliant. Why can’t I just switch lawyers, right? But it is not as easy as it sounds. While you can always choose to hire another lawyer to handle your case, it may not be a realistic option. And even worse: you may not have that choice. To look at the situation without our pink, in-love sunglasses, hiring a lawyer is an investment. And it is an investment for both the lawyer and the client.
Hiring an attorney is not as simple as picking which color to paint your nails or which tie to wear in the morning. You put effort into finding the right lawyer: the best lawyer for you. Then you pay a retainer and your bills probably start to grow quickly. If you forget about your crush for a second you will realize that it takes time, effort and money to get your case going. And hiring a new lawyer would mean going back to square one. You don’t want setbacks in your case. All you really want is to finish it as soon as possible.
And if at the end of the day you go home, lay in your bed and decide that your crush is actually more important than having that person as your attorney you should switch. And after that will come the interesting part. Do you know what it is like to date a lawyer? Lawyers are not like other people: they have supernatural powers.
It is tough having a crush on someone and not having the rights and freedom to act on it. The choice is yours. You need to evaluate your crush. What is it worth?