On Thursday, August 18, 2022, the Ohio Disciplinary Counsel filed charges for attorney discipline against Westlake attorney Mark S. Bennett alleging workplace misconduct.
The case is being heard by the Board of Professional Conduct of the Supreme Court of Ohio, with case number #2022-034.
The charges cite rules of professional conduct 8.4(h), which states:
A lawyer shall not engage in any other conduct that adversely reflects on the lawyer’s fitness to practice law.
The rules of professional conduct can be found at https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/LegalResources/Rules/ProfConduct/profConductRules.pdf
The complaint involves a 24-year-old unnamed woman, referred to as J.S. in the filing. J.S. accused Bennett, a former assistant U.S. attorney, of sexually harassing her.
The complaint states:
“5. J.S. became acquainted with respondent in 2017, while working as an intern in the USAO.
6. At times during her internship, J.S. believed that respondent attempted to look up J.S.’s skirt or would be “looking at [her] butt.”
7. J.S. heard from a male intern that respondent had made sexually inappropriate comments about her.
8. During the internship, respondent had conversations with J.S. about his marital sex life.
9. Respondent also asked J.S. about her sex life and suggested that he could be J.S.’s sexual partner.
10. At some point during the internship, respondent requested that J.S. send him nude photos of herself on Snapchat.”
The complaint also alleged that Bennett touched the intern’s chest with the back of his hand while reaching across her body inside a law library.
The filing continues:
“12. During the internship, respondent offered to buy J.S. clothing from J. Crew, Victoria’s Secret, and Brooks Brothers.
13. In August or September 2017, respondent and J.S. were in the Akron office’s library. Respondent told J.S. she needed a copy of the 2015 Sentencing Guidelines. He then reached across her body, touching her breasts with the back of his hand.
14. J.S. believed the touching was intentional because respondent made and held eye contact with her during the touching.”
The Ohio Disciplinary Counsel requests that the respondent be found in violation of the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct and be sanctioned accordingly.
As of today, Mr. Bennett is listed on the website of the law firm Bennett Legal, LLC as a practicing attorney. His info can be found online at https://bennettlegalfirm.com/experience. He attended Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Bennett practices in Westlake, Ohio. He is licensed in Ohio, with license number #69823.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.