On Monday May 6, 2013, Pennsylvania Judge Stephen B. Lieberman jailed both a lawyer and his client for being late for court. Attorney B.. David Marcial and his client Jesus arrived about an hour late for jury selection in Ortiz’ upcoming drug trial and were taken into custody.
Judge Lieberman promptly raised Ortiz’s bail from $120,000 to Three million dollars and held Marcial in custody for four hours. After holding the attorney in custody the Judge found the attorney in contempt and fines him $1000 or 10 days in jail.
The Judge reasoned that because the lawyer and defendant was late the judge had to releases the jury pool and seemed angry that they “wasted” a jury pool. The attorney cited a personal issue as well as a failed wake up call at a hotel as a reason for being late, while no reason was given for the client’s tardiness.
Although, I can understand the frustration with the attorney for being late I think this was a harsh sentence for one hour of tardiness.
Attorney Patrick Donovan is a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney. Attorney Donovan is a former prosecutor that has appeared in over fifty courts in Massachusetts. Attorney Donovan handles both felony and misdemeanor crimes.