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Do The Editors Actually Read the Tip Line?

I just sent them a tip. I think it's noteworthy. A lawyer in Connecticut who has a long record of sexual misconduct with his women clients has been barred from representing women for the rest of his career. I - and quite a few others - think he should have been flat out disbarred.

In the ordinary case a record of serial rule violations, especially serious rule violations, would get you disbarred. Not only does he have a long record of this kind of violation, but he's been disciplined before and he violated a court order in connection with the misconduct. Not only does he have no respect for women, he has no respect for the rules or the courts. It is black and white, you do not involve yourself sexually with clients, even if they consent - and this guy was not involving himself consensually, he was harassing and coercing vulnerable women.


Those of you who are lawyers and law students know how easy it is to be disciplined for behavior which is well-intended, but still violates the letter of the Rules of Professional Conduct. To give an example, if I don't withdraw my fees out of the escrow account as soon as they are earned, I have violated the rule against commingling my money with client funds, and I can be disciplined - and lawyers have been disciplined (though rarely disbarred) for such carelessness. (Taking money which isn't yours from escrow will get you either disbarred or a long suspension - not four months like this guy got).

We're constantly having to watch our step because good intentions are not enough. The rules are labyrinthine, the process painful, and the penalties often severe. But for reasons that I can only conclude add up to "well, he just got a little handsy, we've all been there, let's just make sure he can't do it anymore but not end his career, eh, boys?" this time the disciplinary powers have chosen to exercise extreme restraint. That's unusual. I don't think the restraint is justified. The conduct engaged in included physical contact in at least one case that I could find. In another case, there was evidence that there was unwanted physical contact, but the disciplinary committee (not unanimously) found it was insufficient to find that he had broken that rule, though he had violated the court order in place to refrain from representing women in domestic and domestic violence cases, and to refrain from being alone with woman clients.

I can't get my hands on the actual new decision, but I'd be surprised if there were not allegations of physical contact here as well. It appears this was a compromise result negotiated between the attorney and the disciplinary board, but it's one I think was inappropriate. They had him dead to rights. He was a serial offender who has repeatedly committed a very serious offense. It's not as if he was a credit to the bar. What was the point of compromising? The message this sends is all wrong. Yet again, the establishment says to the world: offenses against women by men will be tolerated. We will protect men from the consequences of their actions.

I am so sick of this shit.

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