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A Hawaii attorney convicted of licking a client's ear got a bit of a tongue-lashing in court last week.
"Quite frankly, these are the actions of a dirty old man," the judge in Lihue, on the island of Kauai, said about attorney Lawrence McCreery's unwanted harassment of a client, the local Garden Island newspaper reports.
Though McCreery, 64, got licked in court, he vows to appeal, claiming his objectionable ear-licking never took place.
Lawrence McCreery's ear-licking would have been a physically challenging maneuver, if the witness' story is to be believed, McCreery's defense lawyer argued. McCreery had also claimed the victim was not credible, but offered no evidence to back that up.
The ear-licking occurred in July 2011, when McCreery, a family-law and bankruptcy attorney, met with a client in her 20s about her child custody case, The Garden Island reports.
McCreery, who's been practicing law more than 30 years in Hawaii, touched his client's arm and said, "You look so good. Too bad you're married," according to a press release from the prosecutor's office.
McCreery then uttered some sort of "weird sound," embraced the woman in a tight hug, and licked her right ear -- not exactly the type of "professional and personal service" the solo practitioner touts on his law firm's website .
Prosecutors charged McCreery with harassment, and the judge found the victim had no reason to lie. McCreery's conviction comes with a $250 fine; news reports do not indicate whether the attorney faces any ethics complaints, but the state bar's website still lists him as an active member.
Those who know Lawrence McCreery may find his quick-flicking tongue to be in-tune with his non-legal talents. He's a French horn player in local bands, orchestras, and musical productions, according to his law firm's website.