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Bartering Legal Services for Sex

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8 Responses

  1. Joe says:

    Wow, what a horrible person. He should have been disbarred. Apparently punishing him more lightly does no good. Something has to get through that apparently thick head of his.

  2. Confused 2(now 3ish)L says:

    I’m sorry but I fail to see how Mr. Weatherspoon’s behavior isn’t classified as criminal. I’m uncertain if NJ has recognized the classification of rape by fraud, but as a professional in a position of authority he applied coercive pressure in the hope of procuring sexual services. The appropriate response is not merely disbarment, but incarceration.

  3. Karen Swim says:

    This is shameful and I agree that he should be disbarred and jailed. Mr. Witherspoon’s behavior is a discredit to his profession and every other professional who relies on a sacred contract of trust.

  4. Woohoo For Arbitrary Sentiments says:

    “I, for one, believe we should disbar attorneys who seek sexual favors from their clients even if their conduct is not criminal or threatening, or involve physical contact.”

    Good for you. Why should lawyers even be licensed/regulated face/disbarment anyways?

    My firm’s IT people could bring down the whole our entire practice and they’re not regulated by the state.

    Let anyone practice law or hold themselves out as lawyers and clients will benefit with reduced fees.

  5. Waste says:

    So what the NJ Supreme Court just said was that soliciting sex for money or other services is not a crime in NJ. I’m sure a number of Johns will be happy to know that.

  6. Absolutely correct: thank you. If this conduct doesn’t show a lack of trustworthiness and a complete absence of integrity or respect for the profession, nothing does. The court’s ruling is not only a disgrace, it’s an insult to lawyers and an indictment of the profession.

  7. The Curmudgeonly Ex-Clerk says:

    I disagree with the notion that “we should disbar attorneys who seek sexual favors from their clients even if their conduct is not criminal or threatening” to the extent that it could be understood to extend to consensual sexual relationships between adults. We doubtless can envision circumstances under which even consensual relations are unethical (e.g., divorce lawyers sleeping with their clients), but there likewise are situations in which a sexual relationship poses no ethical quandary — at least not of the sort addressed by professional ethics rules (e.g., transactional lawyers sleeping with business clients).

    We don’t need a categorical prohibition in order to conclude that the attorney here was in the wrong either. He proposed to turn his clients into prostitutes. Given that fact, I’m at a loss to understand the New Jersey Supreme Court’s conclusion that Witherspoon’s conduct was not criminal. See N.J. Stat. 2C:34-1 (defining “prostitution” in part as “the offer or acceptance of an offer to engage in sexual activity in exchange for something of economic value” and defining “promoting prostitution” in part as “[e]ncouraging, inducing, or otherwise purposely causing another to become or remain a prostitute” and criminalizing both); see also N.J. Stat. 2C:33-4 (criminal offense of “harrassment,” another offense for which a lawyer likely could be prosecuted under these circumstances).

  8. I wonder if he channeled George Costanza at the hearing:

    “Was that wrong? Should I not have done that? I’m sorry, I’m gonna have to plead ignorance on this thing, because if I had known that sort of thing was frowned upon…”

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