Legal Ethics

Former Adjunct Prof Faces Discipline Case After Plea re Indecent Exposure to Law Student


A former adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law is facing an attorney disciplinary case after taking a plea deal earlier this year concerning a misdemeanor count of indecent exposure to a student after he met with her in a restaurant to discuss her participation in a legal clinic.

A petition for discipline against Clark Calvin Griffith was filed Wednesday with the Minnesota Supreme Court by the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports.

Griffith, who made an Alford plea in the misdemeanor case during the summer, at one point publicly blamed the law student for his legal troubles as he spoke with a probation officer prior to sentencing, the Pioneer Press reported earlier this year.

His claim that he was the target of a sexual advance by the 24-year-old student after their restaurant meeting prompted Ramsey County District Judge George Stephenson to ask him, at one point during a July 26 hearing, “Are you kidding me? Come on, Mr. Griffith.”

Both he and the young woman said the January incident and its aftermath had adversely impacted their lives. She complained to police and university officials that he unzipped his pants after they left the restaurant and kissed her, and said she was reluctant to leave her home as he allegedly barraged her with unwanted contact seeking to persuade her not to pursue a case against him.

But he said he had suffered, too, the newspaper recounted:

“I have a habit of making amends, even when I’m not guilty sometimes,” Griffith said. “The effect of this event in my life has been absolutely devastating. What she accounts as the effect on her has also been the effect on me.”

Under the plea deal, sentencing has been deferred for a year. If Griffith pays a $500 fine, stays away from the young woman and completes sex offender treatment, the case will be dismissed, according to the Pioneer Press.

A sports law practitioner in his 70s, Griffith is the son of a former owner of the Minnesota Twins.

The Associated Press also has a story.

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “William Mitchell Law Prof, Son of Onetime Team Owner, Is Accused of Exposing Himself”

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