I get this question a lot of times from woman clients. We have to file a lawsuit on their behalf because they were injured in an accident. When it comes time for their deposition, the client is concerned that the other lawyer will ask them personal questions about their sex life.
Can the other lawyer ask about sex life?
The answer depends on the client's injuries and the nature of the claims. The scope of discovery, which is information that the other lawyer can obtain, is all information that is not privileged and may lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. As you can imagine, the standard is pretty broad. Let's talk about some of the situations.
When can the lawyer ask about sex life?
- You make a claim that your injuries have impacted your sex life. For instance, you herniated a disc in your lower back and it hurts every time you try intercourse. In this situation your sex life is directly tied to your injury.
- You make a claim that your injury has impacted your ability to be intimate with your spouse or significant other. Again, you have claim the injury has directly impacted your ability to be intimate.
- Your spouse makes a claim for loss of consortium. A loss of consortium claim is a derivative claim of a spouse where they claim that because of your injuries they have certain losses. I'm not a big fan of consortium claims in most personal injury matters. However, sometimes consortium claims are necessary.
When the lawyer cannot ask about sex life?
- Your spouse has not made a loss of consortium claim
- You have not claimed that your injuries have impacted your physical ability to have sex
- You have not claimed that your injuries have impacted your physical relationship with your spouse
Sometimes lawyers are callous to this information and the fact that a client may be intimidated or stressed out about this topic. This is because we have heard these questions asked over and over for years. My best suggestion is that if you do not want to discuss your sex life in a deposition or in court, you discuss this concern with your attorney early on and you will be able to frame the case and the claims so the information is irrelevant.