Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

client transference

Anyone ever experience a client falling in love with them? unlearnedhand02/14/17
Have I experienced it? No. Have I seen it happen? Yes. M sjlawyer02/14/17
I've read about it in divorce contexts. In CA, it's unlawfu unlearnedhand02/14/17
unlearnedhand (Feb 14, 2017 - 3:02 am)

Anyone ever experience a client falling in love with them? I know it's common in therapist-patient relationships but attorneys?

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sjlawyer (Feb 14, 2017 - 8:17 am)

Have I experienced it? No. Have I seen it happen? Yes. My firm had a client with a variety of criminal offenses and a substance abuse problem. I think, in reality, her attorney fell in love with her. He actually came to one of her pre-trial conferences and started questioning me. I told him to go pound sand and leave my client alone.

To me, it's not unsurprising to become romantic with a co-worker. So in that sense, if you have a corporate client, maybe you connect with a "client" who works for said corporation. However, in the realm of criminal practice, with actual individuals, I find it really odd to do so w/ a client. Maybe in family law - but I'll defer to others w/ experience.

Also, as the saying goes, "don't poop where you eat." Seems obvious.

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unlearnedhand (Feb 14, 2017 - 4:54 pm)

I've read about it in divorce contexts. In CA, it's unlawful for therapist to have sex with patient for up to 2 years after termination of professional relationship. With lawyers in CA, it's more loose but still obviously a bad idea - I could see how it could start in a criminal defense context too. Lots of lawyers get in trouble for that - judges too apparently. I guess I'm trying to figure out why clients fall in love with their lawyers. He's wearing a suit, he's listening, he's protecting me ... I guess that is what they are thinking, but it is irrational. Then again, love is irrational somewhat.

Happy Valentines to all the Esq's out there.

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