Public Masturbation Gets Attorney’s N.Y. License Suspended

By Jennifer Bennett

A New Jersey attorney who’s also barred in New York can’t practice law for two years after four arrests for public masturbation.

Todd Clifford Sicklinger’s license was suspended because his conduct violates professional conduct rules in both states, according to a Nov. 8 New York appellate court order. New Jersey twice suspended Sicklinger’s license, most recently in May 2017.

Sicklinger’s conduct—excessive public masturbation, including arrests for lewdness under New Jersey law—violates New York’s professional conduct rule 8.4(d), which prohibits attorneys from engaging in conduct “prejudicial to the administration of justice.”

Sexually-based misconduct like Sicklinger’s calls for a “significant sanction” because it diminishes public trust in the legal profession and disregards the high standards lawyers must uphold, the court said. Sicklinger’s public masturbation wasn’t a single incident, but instead part of “a pattern of inappropriate sexual conduct.”

He also failed to tell the New York bar about his New Jersey suspension was delinquent in registering multiple times, the court said. Sicklinger didn’t participate in the New York disciplinary proceedings, which indicates “his lack of interest in his fate as an attorney in this state,” the order said.

The case is Matter of Sicklinger, 2018 BL 413306, N.Y. App. Div., unpublished 11/8/18.