‘I shall not engage in conduct intended to disrupt a tribunal’
A US lawyer accused by a judge of acting out during a trial has been made to write out lines as punishment, a report claims.
Anthony Baker was reportedly reprimanded by judge Nancy Fuerst for “reprehensible” behaviour during the final day of a domestic violence trial at the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court in Cleveland, Ohio.
The defence lawyer was held in contempt by Fuerst for engaging in a series of disruptions to keep the trial of a former cop who was ultimately convicted of assaulting his wife from moving forward. Baker, who disagreed with Fuerst’s ruling, defied her orders to remain seated at the defence table during jury instructions and instead moved towards the holding cell in an attempt to frustrate the proceedings.
During last Thursday’s contempt hearing Fuerst ordered Baker to handwrite two sentences 25 times with a pen on paper:
“I will not engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice or in any other conduct that adversely reflects on my fitness to practise law.
I shall not engage in conduct intended to disrupt a tribunal or engage in undignified or discourteous conduct that is degrading to a tribunal.”
He was also slapped with a £500 fine.
Baker was grateful to receive the school-style sanction, telling Cleveland.com that he’d expected to be jailed for his shenanigans, and had even come to the hearing without a briefcase or laptop and had left his house keys at home.
“[Judge Fuerst’s] right, I was wrong,” he told the news website. “I should have not taken that stand. I’m grateful for the penalty that I did get.”