The Sofa of Suspension: Michigan Attorney Suspended Following Criminal Plea and Allegations That He Used a “Couch of Restitution” To Solicit Sex From Clients

The entertainment world is quite familiar with the “casting couch” where aspiring actresses and actors are expected to grant sexual favors for parts. Now an attorney has been suspended for 180 days after being accused of using a “restitution couch” for clients to pay for legal services with sexual services. Michigan attorney Murdoch Hertzog pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault and battery in exchange for dismissal of charges of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in 2001. Now, a panel has shown Hertzog the sofa of suspension.

One client Cheryl B. said that Hertzog groped her on the buttocks and made sexual statements to her about not having to pay his fees if she chose to handle it on his “couch of restitution.” Other women also reported the offer of using the “couch of restitution.” It is not clear if the “couch of restitution” comes with a recliner of reimbursement or the bench of benefits. However, the Michigan committee found striking similarities in these accounts:

The high degree of similarity of these separate accounts established [his] system of making sexual overtures to female clients who were seeking legal assistance in a domestic matter. These overtures occurred during a discussion of his legal fees. Both [victims] testified that [he] used the phrase “couch of restitution,” and closed the blinds before making sexual remarks to them. The panel did not err in finding a commonality in [his] approach indicating a scheme, plan, or system and the panel did not err when it found that “prior bad acts” evidence was offered for a proper purpose…

Yet, the panel surprisingly opted for only a suspension of 180 days Presumably, Hertzog will be required to get new furniture for the office.

Here is the disciplinary decision: 2009-11-23-06o-76

For the full story, click here.

13 thoughts on “The Sofa of Suspension: Michigan Attorney Suspended Following Criminal Plea and Allegations That He Used a “Couch of Restitution” To Solicit Sex From Clients”

  1. Excuse me. For me, it’s that I contributed, . That I’m on this planet doing some good and making people happy. That’s to me the most important thing, that my hour of television is positive and upbeat and an antidote for all the negative stuff going on in life. Help me! Looking for sites on: Kitco gold stock market prices. I found only this – kitco gold stock market prices. Stock market prices, these fall securities trade a to replace its benfits in the fund that b leads to sell several on its discounts to a or only does total. Distinguishing the market credit has gotten therefore financial in the same forecasts, stock market prices. Waiting for a reply :mad:, Lensar from Scotland.

  2. Tendecies for 2010 when it comes to furniture design, look for a minimalist approach. The Asian trend will be a big hit this year. Think floor sitting arrangements and low linings.

  3. Hertzog, has been groping, fondling and forcing women to have sex with him for the past 40 years and he has been getting away with it. He even has children out there that he refuses to own up to and has threatened a variety of punishments for those women who have tried to ask him to “do the right thing” His own daughter was threatened with a restraining order if she ever wrote to him again. He is disturbed and his wife has been aware for years of all of his daliances… He is the Tiger Woods on steriods. Picture what he was doing when he was much younger considering he is doing this at 83 years of age….. I am happy he has had to lose his license for 6 months… it is not enough….maybe more victims will come forward now

  4. I heard Hertzog WILL be required to replace his furniture. I thinks he’s planning to downsize. He’ll replace his “couch of restituion” with an armchair of amatory payment.

  5. “couch of restitution.”

    pshaw too bad he didn’t have a “cone of silence”

  6. Well, the panel clearly did not ‘couch’ the suspension in strong enough terms.

  7. I’m quite certain this violated the ethical requirement that the attorney’s fee be clearly explained to the client prior to representation.

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