Legal Ethics

Judge Throws Out Guilty Plea After Defendant Says She Had Sex with Her Lawyer in His Office

A 22-year-old defendant in a felony drug case got a pretty good plea deal, a Kentucky judge said yesterday.

But after Angel Martin said she had sex, twice, with her attorney, J. Clark Baird, at his law office while he was representing her in the case, Jefferson Circuit Court Judge McKay Chauvin threw out her guilty plea, the Louisville Courier Journal reported.

At the very least, what it does, it interjects into this entire process something that shouldn’t be there,” said Chauvin in yesterday’s hearing. “It colors the entire representation in a way that I’m not comfortable with. Period.”

Baird declined to testify when asked by a prosecutor to do so.

The judge and the prosecutor’s office are reviewing their ethical responsibilities under state attorney disciplinary rules. They both bar sex with clients if the relationship began after the onset of the representation, and require other lawyers to report such conduct.

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