Legal Ethics

Ethics Complaint Accuses Chicago Partner of Groping Employees, Taking Off His Pants

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A partner in a Chicago class-action law firm is accused in an amended ethics complaint of groping and sexually harassing four employees at his firm and exposing himself to two women outside the office.

The lawyer, Paul M. Weiss, is accused of pulling down his pants in front of a female employee during an outing and taking off his pants in front of another employee at the office. Weiss is managing partner of Freed & Weiss, according to his firm’s website. The Chicago Tribune has a story on the allegations.

One of the employees, a 19-year-old legal assistant, had agreed to accompany Weiss to a Chicago Bulls game, according to the disciplinary complaint. The pants incident allegedly occurred in the parking lot. Weiss is also accused of making sexually harassing phone calls to the woman and groping her in the office.

The other pants incident occurred in front of another legal assistant during a closed-door meeting in his office, the complaint alleges. After the woman quit, Weiss allegedly told her they could now have sex since he was no longer her boss.

The other alleged sexual harassment victims were a legal assistant and an associate who was fired after she complained, the complaint claims. Weiss is also accused of exposing himself to a neighbor in his apartment building and to a woman at a suburban train station.

Weiss told the Tribune he denies the charges. “I’m a family man,” Weiss said. “This stuff is going to be highly contested.” He also said the charges are unrelated to clients, money and the practice of law and they involve “workplace or personal conduct many years old.”

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