Jenner & Block

“Dating Your Co-Workers? Considering the Effect of Rule of Professional Conduct 1.8.10 for In-House Counsel,” Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Update

In this article, Jenner & Block Partner Kirsten Hicks Spira and Associate Alexander M. Smith examine Rule 1.8.10 from California’s newly overhauled Rules of Professional Conduct.  The new rule prohibits a lawyer from “engaging in sexual relations with a current client who is not the lawyer’s spouse or registered domestic partner, unless a consensual sexual relationship existed between them when the lawyer-client relationship commenced.”  Rule 1.8.10 replaces the previous fact-specific rule with a broader prohibition against initiating a sexual relationship with a client.  “But while Rule 1.8.10 is straightforward in some respects, it raises a host of unresolved questions—especially when applied in the context of an intra-organizational relationship between in-house counsel and a non-lawyer corporate employee,” the authors write.