Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Attorney Suspended for Billing for Sexual Encounters With Client

Thomas Lowe

Thomas Lowe

Thomas Lowe, 58, a married attorney from Eagan, Minn., had an affair, which won’t help him win any awards for good character, but is not illegal. The affair, however, was with a woman he had known for many years that he was representing in a divorce case — definitely heading into Unethical territory here — whom he billed for the time he spent sexing her up.

The affair began in August 2011when she discussed Lowe’s representing her in a divorce from her husband. Lowe doesn’t seem to have wasted any time, reportedly complementing her on her looks, asking her if she was still having sex with her husband and expressing his sexual interest in her. The affair started about a month later and lasted until March 2012, when the couple began to argue about their affair and about his wife, prompting Lowe to break up with his client-paramour and to withdraw as her attorney two days later.

According to the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility’s court filings, Lowe “unconditionally admits the allegations.”

This situation might never have come to light if the woman, who was apparently considered vulnerable due to past abuse and mental health treatment, had not attempted to kill herself. As her attorney and longtime friend, Lowe should have been aware of this. She fessed up about the affair while hospitalized. Lowe, who was cited for issues of decorum and given probation in 1997 for using cocaine he bought from a client, has had his license suspended indefinitely.

There is no word yet on whether Lowe will be facing charges for his unorthodox billing practices, nor on what the charges might be, fraud — or prostitution.

Slideshow: Objection! Lawyers in the Lockup

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