(CN) - The Maryland Court of Appeals suspended attorney Ralph E. Hall Jr. for having a sexual relationship with a client, thus limiting his ability to represent her in court.
Hall represented Carolyn Mudano, who filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against the Montgomery County Department of Public Works.
She claimed that she was wrongfully fired after department officials discovered that she was having a relationship with her married supervisor.
After Hall filed Mudano's lawsuit, the two started their own romantic relationship.
The couple's legal and romantic couplings went sour when Mudano lost her case, and Hall filed the appeal too late. Mudano then discovered that Hall, also married, was seeing another woman.
Mudano told Hall's wife that her husband was cheating on her with more than one woman. Mudano still wanted the legal relationship to continue, but Hall stopped representing her. She sued Hall for legal malpractice, but the trial court ruled that she had suffered no damage.
"The respondent's representation of Mudano created a conflict of interest," Judge Bell wrote. "Had the respondent's relationship with Mudano become known to the County ... (he) would have been requested to provide potentially damaging testimony.
"It likely would have highlighted the fact that Mudano was again having a sexual relationship with another man who occupied a position of influence over her," the judge added.
Bell suspended Hall from the practice of law indefinitely. He can apply for readmission after 24 months.
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