A Denver attorney will lose his law license for three months this summer after admitting that he slept with a client on several occasions and called a judge explicit names.
Trevor McGarvey, who has been a lawyer since 2015, was handed the punishment May 19 by a state disciplinary judge. His suspension will take effect June 23.
In 2019 and 2020, McGarvey represented a friend who had been charged first with driving under the influence in Jefferson County, then with violating protective orders and driving under revocation. During that time, their friendship turned into a sexual relationship.
McGarvey “knew at the time that he was violating 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 one month but later represented the client, known only as “JW” in disciplinary court documents, in a slip-and-fall lawsuit in 2021 and again when her probation was revoked in the DUI case.
“Your judge is such a b—,” McGarvey texted JW in February 2021, referring to the judge in the revocation case. “Some people would go so far as to call her a c—.”
McGarvey “acknowledges that the terms he used in this specific message inappropriately exhibit bias based upon the judge’s gender,” the lawyer wrote in the May 12 settlement. “However, (McGarvey) asserts that was not his intent in using that language.”
The Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel asked Disciplinary Judge Bryon Large to suspend McGarvey for three months and place him under probation for one year. If he commits other ethical lapses during that year, he will be suspended for another three months.
“While Respondent’s sexual relationship with JW involved an uneven power dynamic, little actual harm flowed directly from that uneven dynamic. Instead, JW often invoked the relationship as leverage over Respondent,” the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel said of McGarvey. “Respondent’s use of a slur in their text messages also resulted in little actual harm.”
McGarvey is a sole practitioner who handles criminal defense and liquor licensing cases from a coworking space at 3900 E. Mexico Ave. in south-central Denver, according to state records. He did not respond to a phone call and voicemail seeking comment on his case.
“Mr. McGarvey has no comment regarding the stipulation or the article,” his attorney, Janie Cox, said by email Tuesday. “His greatest concern is for the privacy of his former client.”