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Judge Sues Lawyer, Client Over Sexual Harassment Claim

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on December 19, 2011 5:43 AM

Ohio Judge Harland Hale has sued the woman who accused him of sexual harassment, Brenda Williams.

Also named in the suit is her attorney, Michael G. Moore, and another woman, Lynn Hamilton. Hamilton has also made accusations of harassment against the judge.

Williams accused Judge Hale of harassing her. She used to work as a Spanish-language interpreter at the courthouse.

Williams was fired in November 2010. She says that city officials helped to cover up the incidents. She claims Judge Hale grabbed her breasts and called her racial slurs, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Hamilton says that Judge Hale acted inappropriately and took her to a bar after she was taken to his courtroom on drunk driving charges. She says there, the judge made sexual advances toward her.

Both women apparently settled with the court. Judge Hale says that the two violated the terms of the settlement by speaking out about him.

Specifically, Judge Hale received a letter from Moore, Williams' attorney, stating that if the judge did not step down legal action would be taken.

Attorneys everywhere likely recognize the importance of adhering to a settlement agreement. Lawyers typically wouldn't advise clients to break an agreed-upon term.

But most attorneys also recognize that in many situations, all attorneys can do is advise clients of what their options are and what ramifications may come after certain actions. Ultimately, decisions are left to the clients. Maybe this is what happened in Williams' case. Perhaps she just felt that she needed to make sure the judge stepped down from his role. But if this really was against the settlement, should her attorney have gotten involved?

But now, Judge Harland Hale is filing suit against her and her attorney. Whether or not he will be successful will be left to another court to decide.

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