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Sex, Secretaries and Audacious Attorneys

J0315570   Sometimes, you're just plain shocked at behavior.  Law.com Legal Blog Watchreported today a  bombshell of a complaint over a May 2009 ad on Craigslist under "Adult Gigs" for a secretary/legal assistant. The ad was titled: "Loop lawyers hiring secretary/legal assistant." It read as follows:

Loop law firm looking to hire am [sic] energetic woman for their open secretary/legal assistant position. Duties will include general secretarial work, some paralegal work and additional duties for two lawyers in the firm. No experience required, training will be provided. Generous annual salary and benefits will be provided, including medical, dental, life, disability, 401(k) etc. If interested, please send current resume and a few pictures along with a description of your physical features, including measurements. We look forward to meeting you.

A candidate sent her information including a photo, height, size and measurements. Now, why a legal secretary would not know that laws state giving out information such as personal statistics and photos are no-no's, I don't know.  However, knowing the law and being a victim are two different things.

The next day, the attorney allegedly responded with an e-mail that gave some basic information about the position, but then went on to state:

As this is posted in the "adult gigs" section, in addition to the legal work, you would be required to have sexual interaction with me and my partner, sometimes together sometimes separate. This part of the job would require sexy dressing and flirtatious interaction with me and my partner, as well as sexual interaction. You will have to be comfortable doing this with us.

If you think you're comfortable so far, please let me know and we can proceed with the process.

The next step is to set up an interview. When are you available to interview? I am free to interview today. Please let me know what your availability is.

Lastly, we've actually hired a couple of girls in the past for this position. But they have not been able to handle the sexual aspect of the job later. We have to be sure you're comfortable with that aspect, because I don't want you to do anything that you're not comfortable with. So since that time, we've decided that as part of the interview process you'll be required to perform for us sexually (i didn't do this before with the other girls i hired, now i think i have to because they couldn't handle it). Because that aspect is an integral part of the job, I think it's necessary to see if you can do that, because it'll predict future behavior of you being able to handle it when you have the job.

If you're still okay with everything, let me know what you're availability is and we can figure out a time for you to come in and interview. Let me know. Thanks for your interest.

When I first read this, I thought it was written by a teenager as some kind of weird joke.  However, after the candidate complained to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, an investigation was conducted. The attorney initially responded that:

it appears that somebody with malice [sic] intentions has used my business information to post the advertisement on Craigslist. I did not post the advertisement for a legal secretary...

OK, I understand that someone being maligned on the Internet.  I really do.  There is someone calling themselves a "paralegal expert" down in Georgia who has harassed me via the Internet for a year and a half now, interfering with my business, makes threatening phone calls to my son, posts unbelievable things on list servs and more.  (They most likely will read this and try something else again but I continue to stand up for myself.) I never know what they are going to pull next.  It's vicious, illegal, disturbed behavior and several colleagues and I are ready to seek any and all legal remedies available to us. People like that aren't worth the time of day. Anyway, I digress. I'm talking about how this article elicited empathy, albeit undeserved.

But then, the article goes on to state that "when the attorney was required to give a sworn statement before the Disciplinary Commission, he admitted that he did, in fact, post the Craigslist advertisement and send the follow-up e-mail to the applicant."

This is actually scary.  If what he says is true, that they actually "hired" several legal secretaries who went through that, I sure hope that they are not too scared to come forward and file complaints. Aside from the illegal actions, the hatred of women is very apparent.  This is one of those times that you have a tough time believing what you read.   If this isn't some kind of hoax (and I trust Legal Blog Watch's reporting), just how widespread and how long has this gone on?  

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