Despite the endless supply of one-liners, lawyers – whether they’re family lawyers, civil lawyers, criminal lawyers or any other breed – are on the whole hard working, honest people who do important jobs.
Indeed, as any seasoned lawyer will tell you, courts don’t uphold the law: lawyers do (something that most self-represented defendants or litigants come to realize far too late).
However, just as with any other profession, there’s that tiny percentage who find it necessary to gas up the Stereotype Bus, and behave in a way that has their counterparts shake their head and wonder “what were they thinking?”
Or, in the case of Thomas P. Lowe, perhaps the right question is “why weren’t they thinking?”
In 2011, a divorcing woman in Minnesota contacted family lawyer Thomas P. Lowe. After the usual initial consultation, he agreed to represent her, and their professional relationship began. So far, so good – and hardly newsworthy.
That is, until a few days later.
That’s when Lowe began looking upon his client in a different way. Perhaps out of a misguided sense of trying to boost her self-esteem, or possibly out of some raw predatory fixation, Lowe started to make sexually suggestive comments on her physical appearance, her attractiveness, and other things that are making the 99.9% of well-adjusted family lawyers reading this right now drop their jaws in horror.
But wait — there’s more.
Not content to merely verbalize his affections, Lowe seduced his client, and the two began to sleep together. Of course, this was a blatant violation of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct for Lawyers. But that didn’t matter.
In fact, it mattered so little, that Lowe actually billed for the sex, and referred to the encounters as “meetings” or “drafting memos.”
(Reports so far don’t reveal how much Lowe billed, but considering that some family lawyers bill in six minute increments, please feel free to write your own joke here.)
Fast forward to March, 2012, when Lowe’s wife discovered her husband’s cheating ways. That “convinced” him to end the affair and the professional relationship, too. And you may have guessed, he sent his client a final bill, too.
It was too much to bear, and his client attempted suicide.
Thankfully, she survived, and while in the hospital, disclosed details of the affair.
That set a series of events in motion that culminated in Lowe having his license to practice revoked by the Minnesota Supreme Court on January 10 of this year. He’ll be out of action — at least, professionally speaking — for 15 months.
Unable to use as many colorful adjectives as we do here at Divorce Magazine, the Court rebuked Lowe for “professional misconduct, namely, engaging in a sexual relationship with a vulnerable client and billing the client for meetings in which they engaged in sexual relations.”
As an epilogue to what may be the most unique story we’ll ever do on a Minnesota family lawyer, it also came to light that in 1997 Lowe was put on probation for using cocaine and purchasing cocaine from a client.
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