During the final year of law school, those who are about to be handed their degrees are desperately seeking legal jobs of any kind so they can be counted among the few, the proud, the would-be lawyers who are employed at graduation.
Considering how terrible the job market is, those who are lucky enough to find a job are likely do anything they can to keep it. They might even be willing to deal with some “disgusting and grotesque” sexual comments for a while.
But how much is too much? It’s quitting time when the boss starts demanding sexual favors…
As we noted in Morning Docket, John Mismas, an asbestos litigator, was suspended by the Ohio Supreme Court for one year’s time after sending “sexually explicit” text messages to his law clerk, a third-year student at the University of Akron School of Law. The National Law Journal has additional details:
The court found that John Mismas—a Willoughby, Ohio, plaintiffs attorney—had engaged in conduct adversely reflecting on his fitness to practice law when he propositioned the female law student in 2011. Although a disciplinary panel had recommended a public sanction, the court on June 12 decided that punishment was too light, saying Mismas abused his position as a mentor to the law student.
“We find that Mismas did not just send sexually explicit text messages to a law student he sought to employ—he abused the power and prestige of our profession to demand sexual favors from her as a condition of her employment,” the court wrote.
The law student, “Ms. C,” worked for Mismas for less than two weeks — the situation was that bad. Let’s see how Mismas used his lawyerly “power and prestige” in his attempts to bed his unwilling law clerk:
If your boss suggests he won’t trust you unless you tell him whether you enjoy being spanked, it’s time to start looking for a new job. Instead, Ms. C stayed on at Mismas’s firm, and this is what happened next:
Amazingly, Ms. C still didn’t quit, even after Mismas tried to bargain her continued employment for a blowjob. We told you these people were desperate. She finally decided she’d had enough when Mismas invited her to go on an overnight trip with him for a deposition. She flatly refused, and Mismas, ever the horndog, once more threatened that her refusal would have “adverse consequences on her employment.”
Ms. C quit the next day, and one of her professors filed a grievance against Mismas. In defending himself, Mismas tried to blame his alcoholism, but the court was none too pleased with his boorish behavior:
“These first jobs can set the course for an attorney’s entire legal career,” the court said. “Attorneys who hire law students serve not only as employers but also as teachers, mentors and role models for the next generation of our esteemed profession. To that end, we expect that attorneys will conduct themselves with a level of dignity and decorum befitting these professional relationships.”
Perhaps this will serve as a lesson to all those who are trying to find employment in the legal field right now. You may be willing to do anything to get behind a desk at law firm, but that doesn’t mean you should get on your knees underneath a partner’s desk to do it. Please have some dignity and self-respect.
P.S. We hope John Mismas enjoyed his spanking from the Ohio Supreme Court.
(The full attorney misconduct report for John Mismas is available on the next page.)