An attorney in Mobile has been charged with harassment after allegedly writing a sexually suggestive and pornographically descriptive story and giving it to an unsuspecting female lawyer.
Michael McDuffie, an experienced defense attorney from Mobile, was arrested Monday and charged with harassment based on a complaint filed by Lindsay Mims. Mims, who is also an attorney, told Lagniappe she’s had several uncomfortable interactions with McDuffie.
The criminal complaint states that McDuffie has repeatedly made “inappropriate sexual comments that have caused the victim to be alarmed.”
“He has commented on the victim’s body parts and dress and has done so in front of the victim’s clients and others. Additionally, the defendant handed the victim a lengthy, erotic story that she had no wish to receive,” the complaint continues.
Mims says that “lengthy, erotic story” was an 18-page document McDuffie allegedly handed her while she was representing a client in a local courtroom back in August 2017.
The document, which Mims described as “homemade erotica,” is a short story featuring graphically descriptive accounts of sexual acts between two attorneys — one of them an older man and the other a younger woman. McDuffie is 70, Mims is 28. However, the author makes painstaking efforts to say all characters and events are “purely fictitious” in a two-page “disclaimer” setting up the “fantasy.”
“This is a brief work of pure fiction containing mature subject matter and orchestrated adult situations. After this document is delivered to its intended recipient the location responsible for its generation will be deleted and bleach cleaned,’ the disclaimer reads. “The author will forever deny either its creation or any relation to its recipient even though it may be attempted to be construed otherwise.”
While the author isn’t identified in the document, Mims says it was McDuffie who handed it to her in court last August. Another individual in the courtroom that day also identified McDuffie as the man who handed Mims a set of documents that he later reviewed himself.
“We turn toward each other and kiss my teeth gently biting his lips and then his mouth moves to my neck and as his teeth start to move up and down his hands move behind me to cup my butt,” one of the less sexually graphic lines of the story reads.
Lagniappe is choosing to publish only the excerpts from the document necessary to convey the nature of its content. Subsequent passages describe sexual situations in extremely graphic detail.
A few months later, Mims said McDuffie handed her a second document, “a Spanish love song” as she describes it. Mims was a Spanish major in college, and speaks the language conversationally, like the female attorney in the “fantasy.”
Mims says received the first document from McDuffie roughly a year ago but delayed taking it to police because she initially tried to address her concerns through other channels. The situation changed earlier this summer when she spoke to other female attorneys who say they also received unsolicited correspondence from McDuffie.
“I brought this forward because Mike’s inappropriate and alarming action toward me was not an isolated incident. His pattern of inappropriate behavior causes me too much concern to stay quiet,” she said. “I tell my clients and friends to speak up and advocate for themselves, and in this situation, I had to take my own advice.”
Mims claimed she’d spoken to at least three other women in the local legal community who’d had similar run-ins with McDuffie. One of those attorneys, also a younger female, told Lagniappe she received at least three letters from McDuffie including one fictitious “fantasy” similar to what Mims received.
A reporter was able to review all three documents she claims to have received from McDuffie, though she asked that her name not be published because she works in “a male-dominated field.”
Though it isn’t as graphic as the narrative Mims received, the second attorney claims McDuffie handed her a story in 2016 that also involves attorneys, also depicts adult situations and also includes a lengthy “disclaimer” at the beginning. The word “confidential” is handwritten on a blank cover sheet as well.
“Storms had always reminded her of him, his concern with her enjoyment taking precedence over his own, his touch, his mouth, starting slowly, opening the flower, softly, expertly, with that soft seductive voice always in her ear, her soul, always urging, always triggering the lightning and thunder,” that document reads.
That passage was from what the author calls “chapter one,” and the second woman claims McDuffie has since asked her several times if she’s ready for “chapter two.”
She claims two other letters McDuffie gave her were more practical and discussed ways she could get more court-appointed defendants, several of which focused on her physical appearance. It mentions certain sitting judges who like “pretty girls” and discusses the appearance of other prominent women in Mobile’s legal community.
Mobile Metro Jail records indicate McDuffie was taken into custody on Monday afternoon and posted bail within an hour. He was formally charged with harassment or harassing communications — a Class C misdemeanor that will be handled in Mobile Municipal Court.
He has an arraignment scheduled at 8 a.m., Sept. 26.
Reached by email, McDuffie directed all questions about the charges and allegations against him to his attorney, William “Chip” Bradford, who was unavailable to comment on this report prior to its publication. This story will be updated as additional information is received.
Updated at 3:21 p.m., Aug. 30, to correct typographical errors.