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Legal Ethics

Ex-GC of Oklahoma Bar Reprimanded for Alleged Groping Incident

Posted Apr 7, 2010 11:59 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The former general counsel of the Oklahoma State Bar has been reprimanded in connection with allegations that he groped and bit a woman in a suite at a racetrack and casino.

Dan Murdock had entered an Alford plea to a reduced misdemeanor charge of outraging public indecency in the case last October. The plea does not admit the facts but acknowledges there is enough evidence to persuade a jury of guilt.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected a lesser sanction of a private reprimand, the Legal Profession Blog reports. A dissenting justice endorsed a suspension. Murdock had testified in disciplinary proceedings that he touched the woman and "I did exactly what she said," but he believed the contact was consensual. Testimony quoted in the opinion did not go into the details of his conduct.

As part of his former job, Murdock oversaw investigations of misconduct complaints against lawyers. Georgetown Law Center ethics counsel Michael Frisch noted the case at the Legal Profession Blog, and said he is aware of no other case in which a chief disciplinary counsel was sanctioned for an ethics violation that took place while he was serving in that role.

The April 6 opinion says Murdock has completed 50 hours of required community service, has participated in addiction treatment and counseling, and has assisted in the treatment of others with addictions.

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