Court Suspends Lawyer Over Exposed Genitalia

By JEFF D. GORMAN

(CN) - A New York appeals court ordered the two-year suspension of Rochester lawyer who grabbed the breasts of an opposing attorney and exposed his genitalia to her. Lawrence Baker, whom the New York Supreme Court admitted as a lawyer in 1979, faced charges from a grievance committee that he engaged in sexually inappropriate conduct during a pretrial conference.

Though Baker claimed that to have merely had an inappropriate sexual conversation with the woman acting as opposing counsel in 2010, a referee called this explanation "disingenuous and calculating." Describing it as a "bad joke," Baker said he also tried to give the woman a "love tap" by touching her shoulder.

The referee reached more serious conclusions. "In addition to the inappropriate conversation and conduct to which respondent admitted, the referee found that respondent engaged in additional unwanted and highly inappropriate conduct of a sexual nature, including exposing his genitals to opposing counsel, twice kissing her on her neck and shoving both of his hands inside her blouse and bra and touching her breasts," according to an unsigned opinion from the Appellate Division's Fourth Department.

The justices confirmed these findings and suspended Baker for two years.

Source: Courthouse News Service

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