Well, this one probably won’t make the list of legal best practices.
A lawyer in Minnesota, Thomas P. Lowe, has been suspended after billing a client for the time he spent having sex with her.
From the complaint (pdf):
The Director of the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility has filed a petition for disciplinary action alleging that respondent Thomas P. Lowe committed professional misconduct, namely, engaging in a sexual relationship with a vulnerable client and billing the client for meetings in which they engaged in sexual relations, in violation of Minn. R. Prof. Conduct 1.5(a) and (b), 1.7(a)(2), and 1.8(j).
It’s not a happy story. And it almost ended in tragedy. Opposing Views provides some more details:
The woman met with Lowe in August 2011 to discuss pursuing a divorce from her husband. Lowe asked about her sexual relationship with her husband, complimented her appearance and asked if she was interested in sex.
They began an affair that lasted until March 2012. After several arguments about their affair and his own marriage, Lowe said he was breaking things off and quitting as her lawyer.
That day the woman tried to kill herself. While hospitalized, she revealed her affair with Lowe.
Adding to the insult, Lowe apparently billed the woman for “legal services” for the time they spent on their trysts. The specific activities cited during these hours were “drafting memos” and “meetings.”
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