1 DISCIPLINARY DECISIONS IN OTHER JURISDICTIONS MISSOURI In re Howard, 912 S.W.2d 61 (Mo. 1995) Female client hired male Attorney for an insurance claim. While Client s husband was away in the Army, Attorney suggested Client travel with Attorney on personal trips. On one occasion at Attorney s office, Attorney grabbed Client and tried to kiss her until she drew a can of mace. A second female Client hired Attorney for a child support case, and Attorney suggested she come to his office for a few drinks and a little loving. Attorney later told her he would not appear in court for her unless she either paid him $850 or had sex with him. Attorney was suspended indefinitely, with leave for reinstatement after six months. MINNESOTA In Re: Thomas P. Lowe Male Attorney began sexual relationship with female Client, and billed Client for time spent having sex. Attorney was suspended indefinitely, with leave for reinstatement after fifteen months. Order was signed by Justice Alan C. Page. FLORIDA 1. The Florida Bar v. Tipler, 8 So.3d 1109 (Fla. 2009) Male Attorney charged 18 year old female Client $2,300 fee for representation on a criminal matter. Attorney provided a $200 credit for every time Client engaged in sex with the Attorney and a $400 credit for every time she arranged for another woman to engage in sex with him. Attorney was also suspended for 15 months in Alabama for selectively editing a video submitted into evidence for a case, and did not file a copy of the suspension order in Florida. Attorney also misused $57,000 of client funds. Attorney was ultimately disbarred. 2. The Florida Bar v. McHenry, 605 So.2d 459 (Fla. 1992) Female Client came to meet Male Attorney for a personal injury case. Attorney touched Client s body under the pretense of familiarizing himself with her injuries. Then he returned to his desk
2 and began to masturbate in front of her. During a meeting with a different Client, Attorney masturbated while he spoke to her. Attorney was disbarred. 3. The Florida Bar v. Bryant, 813 So.2d 38 (Fla. 2002) Male Attorney represented a Female Client employed as an exotic dancer. Attorney and Client had engaged in sex long before Attorney represented Client on this matter. Client suggested she pay Attorney with sexual acts, and Attorney agreed. During a later felony case, Client went to state authorities and attempted to make a deal for herself by testifying against her Attorney. Attorney was suspended for one year and put on probation for two years thereafter. 4. The Florida Bar v. Scott, 810 So.2d 893 (Fla. 2002) Male Attorney met with female Client and her husband to discuss a Family court matter. Attorney asked husband to leave the room, and then exposed his penis to the Client and ejaculated on her face and blouse. Client reported Attorney to the police and wore a wire to future meetings with the Attorney. At a later meeting Attorney once again exposed himself and ejaculated. Attorney was given 30 days to close his practice and disbarred. 5. The Florida Bar v. Senton, 882 So.2d 997 (Fla. 2004) Female Client retained male Attorney in an unemployment matter, and later, a bankruptcy matter. Attorney arrived at Client s house with a cooler of beer and pressured her into having sex. On another occasion, Attorney pressured Client into having sex at his office. Client brought evidence of both incidents to the police and reported them as sexual assaults. Attorney was given 30 days to close his practice and disbarred. RHODE ISLAND Vallinoto v. DiSandro, 688 A.2d 830 (R.I. 1997) Private civil action brought against Male Attorney by a female Client whom he had an affair with during her divorce proceedings. Attorney s performance was excellent and successful on Client s behalf. Client appeared to be Attorney s girlfriend, but their relationship ended when the divorce case was concluded. Client returned to Attorney for another matter several months
3 later and their relationship did not resume. Client began dating a new man, who encouraged her to sue Attorney for monetary damages. OHIO 1. Allen Cty. Bar Assn. V. Bartels, 124 Ohio St.3d 527, 924 N.E.2d 833, (Ohio 2010) Female Attorney represented male Client in his post-divorce matter. On the day the judgment in the matter was entered, Attorney began a sexual relationship with Client. Client s wife discovered the affair and filed a grievance against her. Attorney was reprimanded. 2. Disciplinary Counsel v. Krieger, 108 Ohio St.3d 319, 320, 843 N.E.2d 765 (Ohio 2006) Female attorney represented minor Client in numerous criminal charges as a public defender. Attorney began having a sexual relationship with the Client (when he was no longer a minor) and became his primary source of financial support. Attorney continued to represent Client and spent over $8,000 on his living expenses, in addition to buying him several vehicles and taking him and a friend on a vacation with her family in secret. When another public defender represented Client, it became obvious Attorney had been behaving inappropriately. Public Defender s office reprimanded Attorney, but she continued her relationship with Client anyway, until Client eventually began to terrorize and threaten to kill her. Attorney was suspended for 2 years. MASSACHUSETTS 1. In Re: Henry Lebensbaum Male Attorney had affair with female Client during her divorce proceedings. Attorney failed to stop Client from conducting illegal acts in front of him, including accessing her husband s business computer and stealing $1,900 from her husband s office. Attorney then represented Client on the charges of the crimes he had witnessed her commit without her informed consent of the possible consequences of his conflict of interest. Attorney was suspended for six months. 2. In Re: John F. Pellizzai
4 Male Attorney represented female Client in her divorce proceeding, during which they developed a sexual relationship. Client suffered no harm from the relationship. Attorney was publicly censured. 3. In Re: Stephanie A. Sousa Female Attorney represented incarcerated male Client on a number of civil actions. Attorney visited him in prison 40 times, most of which were not professional visits. Attorney also made several thousand phone calls to Client, which were recorded by the prison and shown to be sexually explicit. After Client s release, Attorney gave him financial support for six weeks, until their relationship deteriorated. Client began to harass her and make death threats, until Attorney hired a bodyguard and involved the police. Attorney was suspended for 2 years. CALIFORNIA 1. McDaniel v. Gile, 230 Cal. App.3d 363, 281 Cal.Rptr. 242 (Ct. App. 1991) Private civil action between male Attorney and a female Client. Attorney elicited intimate sexual details from female Client on their first meeting. During a visit to court, Attorney took Client to an empty room and pinned her against a wall and kissed her, and later made numerous sexually suggestive remarks. When Client refused to have sexual relations with attorney, the attorney abandoned her and ceased to represent her interests or take any action on her case whatsoever without numerous requests. Client was forced to settle her divorce case herself, at a disadvantage, and required medication and counseling after the ordeal. Attorney sued Client for legal fees, and Client countersued for legal malpractice and sexual harassment. 2. Barbara A. V. John G., 145 Cal.App.3d 369, 193 Cal.Rptr. 422 (Ct. App. 1983) Private civil suit brought by female Client against male Attorney for misrepresentation of fertility. Attorney represented Client in her post-divorce proceeding. Attorney convinced Client to have unprotected sex, implying he was sterile, which was not true. Client developed a tubal pregnancy that required surgery to save her life and rendered her sterile. A trial court found her complaint was not covered by any cause of action, but the appellate court reversed.
5 Prepared by: Bill T. Walker Attorney and Counselor at Law 3388-B Maryville Road PO Box 1800 Granite City, IL (618)