THE LAWYER AND THE STRIPPER
From the “You Can’t Make this Stuff Up Department”…
Saw a number of reports today of an Illinois lawyer who was suspended by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Committee [“ARDC”]because of an unusual payment plan he concocted with one of his clients. The story begins in 2001 when the lawyer, Scott Robert Erwin was visiting Heartbreakers, a Compton, Illinois strip club. Erwin got to talking to one of the dancers[the dancers can be very friendly at these places] and the two realized, after a couple of minutes, that they had previously spoken about some legal matters. Erwin then agreed to represent the stripper on some legal matters. That’s where the payment plan comes in…and I’ll bet you know where this is headed. According to the ARDC report, Erwin and the dancer agreed that she would perform some nude dances in his office as a way to cut down on the legal fees. The dancer claimed that from February through June of 2002 she would travel to Erwin’s office, strip, and then dance for 30 minutes. The dancer also claimed that on some of these occasions, Erwin would touch her in an inappropriate manner. Erwin denied any inappropriate touching.
And the stripper had another complaint. She claimed that Erwin continued to frequent Heartbreakers. [As an aside, I would have provided a link, but cursory research revealed a whole lot of strip clubs going by the name of “Heartbreaker” and I just don’t have the time…] But according to the stripper, Erwin made an enormous tactical error. When she danced for him at the club, he wouldn’t pay her for dances. It is my understanding from some field research many years ago, that strippers can become rather grumpy if not appropriately compensated for a dance.
The dancer went to the DeKalb, Illinois police in 2002, and an investigation led to a hearing before the DeKalb County Grand Jury where prosecutors sought a charge of criminal sexual assault. The Grand Jury refused to indict Erwin.
The ARDC suspended Erwin for 15 months. The woman involved is no longer working as a dancer.
Moral of the story? Don’t get on a stripper’s bad side.