As a card-carrying member of the State Bar of California I get a free subscription to California Bar Journal, a monthly newspaper covering topics of interest to California lawyers. A large portion of the journal's pages are devoted to reports of that month's disciplinary actions, and as far as I can tell those are the only things that anyone ever reads.
Most disbarments and suspensions are for ass-faced blunders involving the commingling of client funds (the Bar really reeeeeeally hates that) or other gross incompetence, but every now and then something pops up that's worth telling your friends about via some sort of on-line web-blog. So here it is.
A senior associate (and Boalt alum, as it turns out) at "a high-powered Silicon Valley law firm" (the article names the firm, which I won't do here) was summarily disbarred after pleading no contest to three felonies, including, you guessed it, unlawful sex with a minor.
Details, you ask? Well, it turns out that our colleague met a sixteen-year-old girl in an online chatroom and had sex with her "six or seven times at her home and at a Palo Alto hotel." Apparently the guy also paid the girl $140 to $200 each time.
What could drive an upstanding member of the Bar to such perversion? Well...
"He told authorities that he started visiting chat rooms as a diversion while working long hours at his law firm." Fair enough, I have a MySpace window open at work all day, but surely the life of a Silicon Valley lawyer, demanding though it is, isn't enough to drive someone into the world of underaged prostitution.
"He suggested that stress associated with his jobs and his wife's pregnancy may have prompted his actions" (emphasis added).
We grow 'em classy down here on the Peninsula.