Retired judge reprimanded for sexist remarks
CONCORD — Recently retired Superior Court judge John M. Lewis has been reprimanded for blaming women lawyers for a loss of respect of the legal profession and for saying that the aggressive prosecution of child sexual abuse cases may do more harm than good to families and the public.
Lewis, of Durham, accepted the reprimand issued recently by the Judicial Conduct Committee, but disputed that he made such statements.
Lewis retired in late July 2013 when his judicial superiors starting asking him about the comments.
Later, Lewis told the Judicial Conduct Committee that his remarks about women were made in an off-the-cuff, collegial conversation with members of the Strafford County public defenders office. The conversation was about the loss of respect of the legal profession, the reprimand states.
About child sex cases, Lewis said it was not a blanket statement, but he made the remark during a particularly difficult case in Strafford County.
He's accused of saying:
- The legal profession risks losing the respect of society because so many more women are becoming lawyers.
- No one in Russia respects doctors anymore because the Russian medical profession is female dominated. And the business world is respected because it is male dominated.
- The influx of female lawyers is hurting the teaching profession because more women are becoming lawyers.
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