April 20, 2007
Abandoning Client Leads To Contempt
A finding of contempt against a North Carolina attorney was upheld on appeal. The attorney represented a client in a probation revocation matter. After a continuance of the hearing, the attorney met with his client in the courthouse on the rescheduled date. When she failed to pay him $200, he abandoned the client and the case without seeking leave to withdraw. The court clerk tracked him down by telephone and told him that the judge would likely issue a show cause or order his arrest. The reply: "he doesn't have the authority and I don't give a s... what [the judge] does."
The attorney was sentenced the 30 days in county jail, suspended, with a number of probation conditions including that he refrain from future cursing out of court personnel. There had been a prior incident of such behavior. (Mike Frisch)
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