Sexual Contact with Client

We have an associate who represented a young single woman who had an obvious attraction to him. Near the end of the representation he engaged in heavy petting including some sexual contact approaching her performing oral sex on him. He then stopped and explained the inappropriateness of the conduct and it ended. No further incidents occurred thereafter. The associate is willing to engage in counseling and education regarding limitations and boundary violations. Is this a matter that can be handled through your lawyer assistance program and does this require referral to the Professional Conduct Board?

Certainly we can provide short-term counseling to the individual, and, if indicated, can refer him for longer-term counseling with an appropriate private practitioner. Please encourage him to call for an appointment at our Boston office.

We cannot advise you on what kinds of matters require reporting to any Board. You may wish to confer on that question with a lawyer experienced in such matters. The Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers, Office of Bar Counsel maintains an Ethics Hotline at 617-728-8750 and may be able to address this question.

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