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Rochester attorney may face additional disciplinary action

November 10, 2018

A Rochester attorney could be facing further disciplinary action after the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility filed a petition alleging additional misconduct.

The Director of the Office of Lawyers of Professional Responsibility filed a petition for disciplinary action against Duane A. Kennedy earlier this month.

The petition alleges that Kennedy allegedly bartered with a female client for sexual favors and made false statements when confronted about the allegations. Kennedy has 20 days to answer the petition.

A 22-year-old woman hired Kennedy to represent her in a criminal matter in connection to an offense alleged to have occurred in April 2015. When she first met with him and asked how paying for the legal representation would work, Kennedy allegedly told her “A cute girl like you, you should not have to pay anything, right?’” the petition states.

On subsequent visits to his office, Kennedy allegedly told the woman they could make “other arrangements” for payment, requested sexual favors and also asked to come to her home, according to the petition. Kennedy is also alleged to have gone to the woman’s work.

The woman recorded some of her interactions with Kennedy and gave the recordings to the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office. In October 2015, Kennedy was interviewed by law enforcement after being advised a complaint was made that he tried to trade sex for presentation.

Kennedy reportedly said the only time there was sexual talk was during the first meeting and the woman asked how she should pay her bill and then asked with sex, according to the petition. The petition contends that was a false statement.

Kennedy was interviewed again on the topic in June, but not by law enforcement, and reportedly gave false statements.

When played a recording of an interaction between Kennedy and the woman, Kennedy “acknowledged the voice sounded like his,” according to the petition.

On Nov. 1, the Minnesota Supreme Court ordered that Kennedy be indefinitely suspended from practicing law after he failed to comply with a previous suspension order. The suspension is scheduled to begin 10 days after the court’s ruling.

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