PA Lawyer Accepts Oral Sex as Fee

Applying a new Pennsylvania legal ethics rule for the first time, the state’s supreme court has OK’d a one-year law license suspension for a suburban Philadelphia lawyer who admitted he accepted oral sex as a fee for representing a client in a driving-under-the-influence case.

David H. Knight agreed to the attorney disciplinary sanction and was given a lesser penalty than he might otherwise have received because of his cooperation.

According to the disciplinary petition, this is the first time a lawyer has been sanctioned in the state for violating Pennsylvania Rule of Professional Conduct 1.8(j), which became effective in 2005. It flatly prohibits sex with a client, regardless of whether there is consent or the client is prejudiced as a result. Washington rules of professional conduct (RPC) strictly prohibits a lawyer from engaging in sexual contact with any client.

The old standard, Rule 1.7, states that “a lawyer shall not represent a client if the representation involves a concurrent conflict of interest.” It appears that no lawyer had been sanctioned under the old rule, either, the legal publication says.

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