Atty. Wm. Detweiler suspended after alleged client sex favors - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Akron attorney suspended after allegedly asking clients for sexual favors

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The Supreme Court of Ohio has suspended the law license of Akron attorney William J. Detweiler for one year for repeatedly soliciting a client for sexual favors, and continuing to represent that client in an ongoing case despite the risk that his own personal interests conflicted with those of the client.

Detweiler allegedly engaged in professional misconduct by sending a woman he was representing in a divorce action a series of increasingly sexual text messages over a period of several months, ultimately including a nude photo of his lower body and a request that she engage in oral sex with him.

The client, who never engaged in sex with Detweiler or even met with him socially, stated in a grievance filed with the Office of Disciplinary Counsel that she felt "completely trapped" and unable to terminate her client-attorney relationship with Detweiler because she had already paid him more than $10,000 in legal fees and could not afford to hire a new attorney.

In response to the client's grievance, Detweiler stipulated that he had engaged in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law, continued to represent a client despite the risk that his personal interests would limit his ability to act appropriately on her behalf, and solicited sexual activity with a client when there had been no consensual sexual relationship with that person prior to the attorney-client relationship.

While acknowledging the disciplinary board's recommendation that Detweiler's license be suspended for one year with six months stayed on conditions, the court noted that he was previously reprimanded in 2010 for engaging in an improper sexual relationship with a client, and concluded that Detweiler's increasingly aggressive conduct in the present case called for the more severe sanction of a one-year actual suspension from practice, with reinstatement conditioned on no further misconduct, evaluation by the Ohio Lawyers Assistance Program, and compliance with any treatment recommendations.

 Copyright 2013 WOIO. All rights reserved.

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