Sunday, June 26, 2022

"Where's MY CA$H?"

The District of Columbia Office of Disciplinary Counsel has filed a specification of charges alleging that a (deleted ) Twitter post violated a sealing order in a United States District Court civil matter.

The attorney had been awarded a fee

In a sealed order entered on July 12, 2019, the court approved a settlement in Ms. Cobb’s case. WMATA agreed as part of the settlement to pay $5,000 directly to Respondent as attorney’s fees. Respondent did not request this payment, but Mr. Regan negotiated it with WMATA to ensure that Respondent was compensated for the work she performed. The $5,000 was not deducted from the settlement amount.

The alleged tweet

On or about July 30, 2019, Respondent, using the handle @DJacksonNBRC (with the associated name “Darlene Jackson, GOP”), publicly posted the following on Twitter in a single, since-deleted tweet:

a. Excerpts from the court’s sealed order,
b. Emails from WMATA’s attorney,
c. A picture of WMATA’s attorney,
d. A news article regarding Ms. Cobb’s death, and
e. The words “Where’s MY CA$H [sic]”.
The tweet tagged the Twitter accounts of several high-profile personalities, including then-President Donald Trump, then-First Lady Melania Trump, and U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn, as well as several major news outlets, including ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, The Washington Post, and The Hill.

WMATA’s attorney learned of Respondent’s Twitter post and informed chambers.

The district court ordered a show cause hearing

At the show cause hearing, Respondent conceded publicly posting portions of the sealed order on her Twitter account. Respondent referenced WMATA’s alleged delay in paying her the $5,000 when the court asked why she posted the tweet. Respondent also represented that she had removed the Twitter post. The court decided not to institute criminal contempt proceedings.

The District Court's grievance committee referred the matter to ODC, which has now charged the attorney with knowing disobedience of a court order and failure to cooperate in the ODC investigation. (Mike Frisch)

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2022/06/the-district-of-columbia-office-of-disciplinary-counsel-has-filed-a-specification-of-charges-on-or-about-july-30-2019-resp.html

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