Monday, March 24, 2008

The Angry Judge

Well, actually, two angry judges.

One who was angry for good reason....

Texas Defense Lawyer Jailed Over Lewd Courtroom Gesture - from ABA Journal:

A Texas defense lawyer representing a client in a DUI case was jailed briefly last week after he allegedly made a lewd gesture to let the judge know what he thought of a prosecution complaint in the case.

Adam Reposa, 33, was held in criminal contempt of court and jailed pending sentencing the next morning, at the order of County-Court-at-Law Judge Jan Breland, reports the Austin American-Statesman. His gesture, according to the judge, constituted "intentional and contumacious conduct" during a pretrial court review of a plea bargain offered to his client.

Specifically, Reposa "made a simulated masturbatory gesture with his hand while making eye contact with the court in response to an objection by the state to his interference with the court plea bargain inquiry," the judge wrote in a judgment order filed March 11.

Although Breland apparently added a handwritten note at the bottom of the order stating "No bond without my approval," Reposa was released later that day on a personal bond by state District Judge Charlie Baird. He said bond is legally required in lawyer-contempt cases, according to the newspaper.

And another, angry for not so good a reason...

Judge Apologizes for Shackling Lawyer -WSJ Law Blog:

Last week, the D.C. Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure determined that D.C. Superior Court Judge John Bayly Jr. violated the code of judicial conduct when he ordered a public defender, Liyah Brown, to be shackled and detained after an argument. Here’s the story, from the Legal Times.

According to the story, trial transcripts reveal that the incident began when the public defender told the judge that her client was “a homeless man.”
“I don’t know that he is,” responded Bayly. An argument broke out, and Bayly told Brown to “be quiet” and sit down.

When Brown failed to quiet down, Bayly called on a U.S. marshal to “[s]tep her back, please. Step her back.” Brown was then handcuffed, subjected to a pat-down search and held in a cell with misdemeanor defendants for about 45 minutes.

The commission determined that Bayly violated the code of conduct that says a “judge shall be patient, dignified and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers and others with whom the judge deals in an official capacity.” According to the commission, Bayly has accepted the commission’s conclusion and recognized his violation. He also wrote a note to Brown apologizing for his actions.

And of course, feel free to click on Judge Judy above, to see her really lose it on an eBay con artist.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto

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