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Published: Wednesday, 5/26/2010

Fremont attorney is suspended

BY CLAUDIA BOYD-BARRETT
BLADE STAFF WRITER

FREMONT - A Fremont lawyer has been barred from practicing law indefinitely after the Ohio Supreme Court found he engaged in sexual misconduct toward clients, including a teenage girl and a woman going through a divorce and custody battle.

According to court documents, Andrew Lockshin, a practicing attorney since 2002, made numerous unsolicited and inappropriate sexual comments and advances in his dealings with various female clients and others.

Among the victims was a 17-year-old girl held at a juvenile detention center, whom Mr. Lockshin was appointed to represent. Mr. Lockshin allegedly played "footsie" with the girl, sent her sexually charged instant messages, and asked her personal questions.

In another instance, Mr. Lockshin was found to have told a client he was representing in a divorce case that he wanted to meet her in a hotel to have sex. Complaints against Mr. Lockshin also detailed sexual comments he made to a female potential witness in a criminal case and a sergeant for the Sandusky County Sheriff's Department.

The Ohio Supreme Court ordered the suspension of Mr. Lockshin's license, saying the measure was necessary in order to protect the public from further misconduct by the attorney.

Although mental health professionals diagnosed Mr. Lockshin as probably suffering from a sexual and narcissistic-personality disorder, he did not follow through on a recommended course of treatment, court documents said.

"Because respondent has not yet received the treatment necessary to develop a realistic and effective plan to decrease his risk of repeating inappropriate sexual behaviors, he remains at risk to reoffend," the justices wrote in yesterday's decision.

Three Sandusky County judges initiated procedures against Mr. Lockshin in January, 2007, after they received reports he had touched a breast of one client and made inappropriate sexual comments to others.

The Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association took over the case, filing a seven-count complaint against the attorney.

The court based its decision to suspend Mr. Lockshin on recommendations from its Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline. It found Mr. Lockshin repeatedly violated rules of professional conduct and ethics.

Cathleen Bolek, trial counsel for the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, said she was satisfied with the court's decision. Nevertheless, she said the case had dragged on for years and had put a strain on the victims.

"The women that were victimized by Mr. Lockshin were very vulnerable. One was a teenage girl who was in trouble with the law. Another was going through a divorce and a custody battle," said Ms. Bolek said. "These were women that needed to be able to trust their attorney."

Mr. Lockshin's attorney, Alvin Mathews, Jr., expressed disappointment at the outcome of the case, but said he wasn't surprised.

"It's pretty much what I expected," Mr. Mathews said.

The attorney said he would have preferred that Mr. Lockshin be given only a temporary, six-month license suspension and two years of probation.

"We believed and argued to the board that the public would have been protected through counseling and through the terms of probation," Mr. Mathews said.

Mr. Lockshin could not be reached for comment.

Contact Claudia Boyd-Barrett at:

cbarrett@theblade.com

or 419-724-6272.



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