Monday, January 22, 2007

Lawyer Got Off Easy

Recently a noted criminal defense attorney was reinstated by the Mississippi Bar after being held in contempt, being suspended, paying a fine and retaking the ethics portion of the Mississippi Bar. Of course, op-ed pieces on The Jackson Free Press have blasted the Bar for any suspension and singing this lawyer, Chokwe Lumumba's praises. I feel that Lumumba got off pretty easy and I have very little tolerance for an attorney acting the way he did in order to get suspended. In the profession of law, lawyers are expected to act with a bit of decorum, even when they don't get their way. By disrespecting a judge, even a judge that is not likeable, the attorney is disrespecting the entire Court and showing disrespect for the entire system. Here is an excerpt from what occurred to originally get him suspended:

THE COURT: I am going to have you removed--
MR. LUMUMBA:--your henchmen throw me out, Judge?
THE COURT: Until you show some respect to the Court--
MR. LUMUMBA: I'm trying to show you some respect.
THE COURT: Will you remove him from the Courtroom?
MR. LUMUMBA: That's the way you've handled it the whole Court. I'm proud to be thrown out of your Courtroom.
THE COURT: All right. Just a minute. That will cost you three hundred dollars, Mr. Lumumba. Now if you want to continue--
MR. LUMUMBA: Look, Judge, if we've got to pay for justice around here, I will pay for--
THE COURT:--I will exercise my discretion--
MR. LUMUMBA:--justice.
THE COURT:--regarding a jail sentence.
MR. LUMUMBA: I've paid other judges to try to get justice, pay you, too, if that's what is necessary.
THE COURT: It will cost you $500.00. You will serve three days in the County Jail. You will start serving it immediately, for contempt of Court.
MR. LUMUMBA: No problem. Are you going to feed me? I can't get my bag?
THE COURT: Court is in recess.

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