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Shore lawyer lied about spankings, judge concludes


EASTON -- Lawyer George J. Goldsborough Jr. deliberately lied when he denied spanking a former client and a secretary who worked for his law firm, a Wicomico County judge has concluded.

Circuit Judge D. William Simpson ruled this week that the spankings and Mr. Goldsborough's subsequent denial of them at a hearing in August violated three state rules governing professional conduct by lawyers. His written opinion was filed late Wednesday in Salisbury.

The judge's opinion was sent to the Maryland Court of Appeals, which could order that disciplinary action be taken against Mr. Goldsborough, 67. He could face punishment ranging from a reprimand to loss of his license to practice law.

Mr. Goldsborough, once considered the patriarch of the Talbot County legal community, was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1950. He has practiced in Easton since 1961.

The state Attorney Grievance Commission's case against him received national attention and was the subject of a recent segment on the television program "Inside Edition."

Mr. Goldsborough was accused of punishing a former secretary, then 17, by sometimes spanking her on her bare bottom when she made mistakes she called "no-brainers" or other typing and spelling errors.

The former secretary was a high school work-study student when she went to work for the law firm.

Mr. Goldsborough also was accused of spanking a female client against her will because, she testified, he thought she had been "a bad girl." The woman had retained Mr. Goldsborough as her lawyer in a civil suit after she was accidentally shot in the face by a deer hunter in 1978.

Mr. Goldsborough denied spanking his client. He admitted that he grew frustrated with the secretary's job performance and spanked her once but not on her bare bottom.

Judge Simpson ruled that Mr. Goldsborough made "deliberately untruthful" denials during the misconduct hearing and lied to a Grievance Commission inquiry panel.

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