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Accused of spanking two, lawyer says he is victim He denies charge, cites conspiracy


SALISBURY -- A prominent Eastern Shore lawyer accused of spanking two women against their will claimed yesterday that he is the victim of a conspiracy hatched by an ungrateful former client and ex-law colleagues to sap him of wealth and power.

In an unusual case that has attracted nationwide attention, George J. Goldsborough Jr. denied that he spanked a secretary six years ago or that he spanked a woman he represented in a personal injury case.

He said the former client, who once sued him for malpractice, was motivated by "greed and hostility" to fabricate a story that he spanked her at her home and another time in his Easton office in 1980.

A two-day hearing into professional misconduct charges against Goldsborough ended here yesterday before Wicomico County Circuit Judge D. William Simpson.

The allegations have brought national media attention to the lawyer and his firm known locally as "Spanky and His Gang."

Yesterday, Mr. Goldsborough and his lawyer, William G. Duvall, were greeted by camera crews, including a team from "Inside Edition."

Two lawyers close to the case said they had been contacted by representatives of talk-show host Larry King.

If Judge Simpson finds the charges to be factual, he could recommend to the state Court of Appeals that sanctions be taken against the 67-year-old lawyer.

The court could take away Mr. Goldsborough's license to practice law, ending a career he began in 1950. Judge Simpson is expected to reach his decision within 30 days.

Mr. Goldsborough also said yesterday that two lawyers who once worked in the firm coaxed the women into filing formal complaints of sexual abuse against him with the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission.

Six former associates testified Tuesday that they forced the breakup of the Goldsborough law firm in 1983 partly out of economic concerns and partly because they were worried about rumors regarding Mr. Goldsborough's alleged treatment of women.

One lawyer, Michael Pullen, said he rejected rumors he had heard until he looked inside one of Mr. Goldsborough's desk drawers and saw a publication titled "Spanking and the Single Girl."

Yesterday, Mr. Goldsborough, an influential lawyer once considered to be the patriarch of the Talbot County legal community, said the 1983 breakup was over money and how the law office was being managed.

Mr. Goldsborough denied testimony that the colleagues had asked him to seek treatment for his alleged spanking incidents.

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