Having sex with a client and insulting the judge will result in the attorney being suspended

The Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center houses the Office of the Presiding Disciplinary Judge. (Cliff Grassmick/Boulder Daily Camera)

A Denver attorney will lose his law license for three months this summer after admitting to sleeping with a client on several occasions and explicitly berating a judge.

Trevor McGarvey, who has been an attorney since 2015, received the sentence from a state disciplinary judge on May 19. His suspension will take effect on June 23.

In 2019 and 2020, McGarvey represented a friend who was charged first with driving under the influence of alcohol in Jefferson County, then with violating protective orders and driving under revocation. During this time, their friendship developed into a sexual relationship.

McGarvey “knew then that he was breaking the rules of professional conduct,” according to a May 12 settlement between him and the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel.

McGarvey ended the relationship after about a month, but later represented the client, known only as “JW” in the disciplinary court documents, in a slip-and-fall trial in 2021 and again when her parole in the DUI case was revoked.

“Your judge is so off-” McGarvey texted JW in February 2021, referring to the revocation judge. “Some people would even go so far as to call them ac-.”

McGarvey “acknowledges that the terms he uses in this particular message reflect an improper bias based on the judge’s gender,” the attorney wrote in the May 12 settlement. “However, (McGarvey) claims that it was not his intention to use that language.”

The prosecution’s legal counsel asked Disciplinary Judge Bryon Large to suspend McGarvey for three months and place him on probation for one year. If he commits further ethical misconduct this year, he will be suspended for another three months.

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“While the defendant’s sexual relationship with Jehovah’s Witnesses involved an unequal power dynamic, little actual harm resulted from that unequal dynamic. Instead, JW often invoked the relationship as leverage against the defendant,” the prosecution’s legal counsel said of McGarvey. “Respondent’s use of an insult in their text messages also resulted in little actual harm.”

McGarvey is a sole practitioner practicing criminal defense and liquor licensing cases from a coworking space at 3900 E. Mexico Ave. processed south of Denver, according to state records. He did not respond to a call and voicemail asking for comment on his case.

“Mr. McGarvey has no comment on the provision or the article,” his attorney Janie Cox said via email Tuesday. “His primary concern is his former client’s privacy.”