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No Sex With Clients -- or Their Mothers

In case you needed a reminder: You should not have sex with your clients -- or with their mothers. That is the message of a 2005 lawyer-discipline ruling from the Supreme Court of Wisconsin. The ruling resurfaced in the news this week (via ABA Journal and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) because of yesterday's reinstatement of the lawyer who was the subject of the ruling, Carlos Gamino of Waukesha, Wis. In ordering Gamino's license suspended for six months, the Supreme Court found that he:

  • Took on the representation of a minor and then began a sexual relationship with the minor's mother. In fact, the court found that he began the sexual relationship the day he was retained, after securing separate hotel rooms for the mother and her son.
  • After agreeing to represent a woman charged with DUI, entered into a sexual relationship with her. The woman testified that the sex usually occurred after the two had been drinking and she was intoxicated.

These actions warranted serious discipline, the court said:

"The referee found that on two separate occasions Attorney Gamino entered into a sexual relationship with a female client in a vulnerable personal situation very shortly after he was retained by them. As the referee observed, one of these clients was dealing with drug and alcohol dependency and facing the loss of her children, home, possessions and numerous pending criminal matters. She was desperate and vulnerable and Attorney Gamino should have been aware of this fact. This disturbing behavior, combined with the finding of his misrepresentations about the nature of the relationship evidences a troubling pattern that we agree warrants significant discipline."

Throughout the disciplinary proceedings, Gamino denied having sex with either woman. While he now has his license back, he continues to make monthly payments towards the nearly $20,000 cost of the disciplinary proceedings.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on September 6, 2007 at 05:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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