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State of Oklahoma ex rel. Oklahoma Bar Association v. Sopher
Oklahoma Supreme Court
1993 Okla. LEXIS 63, 1993 OK 55 (1993)
A woman who had been previously employed as a secretary for attorney John Sopher (defendant) went to Sopher’s office to consult with him on two legal matters. Sopher agreed to represent the woman and set a retainer. The woman gave Sopher the small amount of cash she had with her and agreed to pay the balance later. Sopher put his arm around the woman, pulled out and looked down her blouse, and made an off-color comment. Sopher did the same to the woman’s mother, who had been waiting in the reception area. Sopher did not think his conduct would be offensive because of the playful relationship he had previously had with the woman and her mother. The woman retained another lawyer. The Oklahoma Bar Association (plaintiff) filed a complaint against Sopher. Sopher cooperated with the investigation and acknowledged that his conduct was inappropriate. The bar association and Sopher stipulated that Sopher violated Oklahoma Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4(d), which made it professional misconduct for a lawyer to engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. The trial panel adopted the stipulation and recommendation that Sopher be publicly reprimanded.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Wilson, J.)
Dissent (Opala, J.)
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