A lawyer’s suggestion for an alternative form of payment from a stripper who couldn’t afford his $1,500 fee for a divorce case has cost him his law license.
The West Virginia Supreme Court disbarred McGinnis E. Hatfield in a Dec. 22 ruling delivered by Justice Evan Jenkins, stemming from a complaint originally filed after Hatfield met the stripper, identified by the initials B.W., in 2013, the Bluefield Daily Telegraph reported.
Hatfield was visiting the Cherry Bomb Gentleman’s Club with a friend when he first met B.W. He paid B.W. for a lap dance at the time, according to the court’s ruling. B.W. filed a complaint on August 29, 2013, claiming he had persistently asked her for sexual favors in exchange for his representation.
Later in 2013, Hatfield suffered a traumatic brain injury that resulted in his law license being placed in an inactive status, which delayed the disciplinary process. After he reactivated his license, he was formally charged on January 31, 2018. The Office of Disciplinary Counsel recommended he be disbarred and forced to pay costs.
The West Virginia Supreme Court stated that his actions “violated multiple Rules of Professional Conduct” and agreed with the proposed sanctions.
“The combination of the serious misconduct in which Mr. Hatfield engaged and his total lack of remorse and appreciation for the wrongfulness of his repugnant conduct warrants his disbarment,” Jenkins wrote in the opinion.
In addition to losing his law license, Hatfield must pay $1,039.79 for the costs of the proceedings.