Thursday, May 3, 2012
The Illinois Administrator has filed a complaint alleging misconduct by an attorney in the course of her duties as an assistant public defender for Cook County.
The complaint alleges, among other things, that the public defender failed to communicate plea offers and disclosed confidential information.
Among the other things is this:
On May 18, 2011, Judge Calabrese appointed Respondent to represent defendant Monica Boyd ("Boyd") in The People of the State of Illinois v. Monica Boyd, 11-MC1-194192, in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, First Municipal District, Branch 29, for the offense of theft, a Class A misdemeanor.
On May 18, 2011, Boyd appeared with Respondent before Judge Calabrese and the matter was set for trial for later that day. At the time when the clerk in Judge Calabrese’s courtroom recalled the case set for trial, Boyd was not present and Respondent stated that Boyd had left the court to pick up her child.
Because Boyd was not present for her trial, Judge Calabrese issued a warrant for Boyd’s arrest.
At that time, the following exchange occurred:
MS. CESAR: Oh shit.
THE COURT: What did you say, Ms. Cesar?
MS. CESAR: Oh shoot, I said. Oh shoot. I’m sorry I didn’t talk to her, Judge. I’m just - - it’s my fault. I’m running around, talking to people.
THE COURT: I don’t think that’s what you said.
MS. CESAR: Whatever. I know the word you think I said. My mother never let me say that, and I’ll tell you why. But I said shoot, darn it.
Respondent’s conduct was disruptive to the court and had no other purpose other than to disrupt the court.
The complaint contends that the attorney engaged in conduct that (i) was intended to disrupt a tribunal; (ii) was prejudicial to the administration of justice; and (iii) "tends to defeat the administration of justice or brings the courts or the legal profession into disrepute."
Two other incidents before the same judge ("Oh, lovely") and a raised voice are also alleged to violate the above rules.
Is this a bit overcharged? (Mike Frisch)