Some eight months after police in the tony New York City suburb of New Canaan, Connecticut, arrested attorney Steven Guynn on domestic violence charges involving his reported mistress, he has left his position as a corporate partner at King & Spalding. Information about the criminal case against him, meanwhile, is not publicly available.
New York State Bar records still list Guynn as being affiliated with King & Spalding but—as first noted the legal blog Above The Law—his name and bio no longer appear on the firm’s website.
A woman who answered a call placed to Guynn’s King & Spalding office Monday told The Am Law Daily that he is no longer with the firm, but declined to say when he left or how he could be contacted. An email sent to Guynn’s King & Spalding address yielded an auto-reply messsage stating that all “business related correspondence” should be directed to the firm’s New York-based M&A cohead, E. William Bates II. Bates did not respond to a request for comment about Guynn, nor did King & Spalding spokesmen Matt Hyams and Les Zuke.
A lawyer familiar with the matter says Guynn left King & Spalding about a month ago and is currently unemployed. Property listings show that his New Canaan home, which has been on the market for several months, is now available at a reduced price of $3.3 million.
The 59-year-old corporate lawyer’s departure from King & Spalding, which he joined in January 2011 from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, follows his March 20 arrest and arraignment on charges that he assaulted his reported mistress, Jeannette Schaefer, according to our previous reports. The case, which earned tabloid headlines in the Daily Mail and New York Post, was first covered by the Stamford Advocate.
Less than three months later, according to a public records search, Guynn’s legal problems multiplied: On June 19, his wife, Kristie—who writes for publications produced by the Mormon Church—filed to dissolve the couple’s marriage in Stamford Superior Court. Alan Pickel, a solo practitioner in Stamford who is representing Kristie Guynn in the matter, declined to comment when contacted by The Am Law Daily.
Guynn is being represented in the divorce by Thomas Cassone, a former corporation counsel for the Connecticut city of Norwalk who is currently a name partner at Stamford’s Bello, Lapine & Cassone. Cassone did not return a call seeking comment.
John Gulash, a name partner at Bridgeport, Connecticut-based Gulash & Riccio representing Guynn on the assault charges, also did not respond to a request for comment on the status of the criminal case against his client.
Information about that case is not publicly accessible. A woman answering the phone in the clerk’s office of the Norwalk Superior Court, where Guynn was arraigned, told The Am Law Daily that the court docket entry for the case is “no information available.”
Under Connecticut law, such an entry could mean one of several things. The allegations against Guynn, for instance, could have been sealed or dimissed. Alternately, as Teri Buhl, an investigative journalist and blogger following the Guynn case has noted, it could also mean the case has been transferred to a domestic violence program under which charges against first-time offenders are dropped after a period of good behavior.
Melissa Farley, a lawyer and executive director of external affairs for Connecticut’s judicial system, says Connecticut law offers “no consistent model” for dealing with domestic violence cases. But she confirms that first-time offenders can seek to expunge their records by entering—and completing without incident—a family violence education program. Cases involving those who enter such a program, Farley says, are often listed as “no information available” until the program runs its course.
Guynn is the older brother of Davis Polk & Wardwell financial institutions practice head Randall Guynn. The brothers, both of whom attended Brigham Young University as undergraduates and graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law, advised different sides on the federal government’s efforts to prop up struggling Citigroup three years ago. Randy Guynn did not respond to a request for comment on where his brother might take his practice after departing King & Spalding.
After the charges against Guynn were first made public earlier this year, King & Spalding said in a statement that it was taking the issue seriously and “working to understand the facts.” The firm, citing its internal policy on personnel matters, declined further comment at the time.