Friday, May 21, 2010
The Missouri Supreme Court discharged a finding of criminal contempt against an attorney for "strong words he used in petitioning the court of appeals for a writ to quash a subpoena issued for a grand jury..." The attorney accused the prosecuting attorney and judge overseeing the grand jury of a conspiracy to "threaten, instill fear and imprison innocent persons to cover-up and chill public awareness of their own apparent misconduct using the power of their positions to do so."
The attorney was found guilty of criminal contempt by a jury and was sentenced to 120 days in jail. The court here held that the essential elements of contempt initiated by a judge against an attorney include a false statement, made either knowing of the falsity or in reckless disregard of truth or falsity and an actual or imminent impediment or threat to the administration of justice. (Mike Frisch)