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Lawyer Punished for 'Lord!' Outburst

Brutuskend

Lifer
Apr 2, 2001
26,558
2
0
Lawyer Punished for 'Lord!' Outburst
By Associated Press
Fri Oct 20, 6:09 PM

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - A testy exchange between a Superior Court judge and a lawyer has netted the attorney two days in jail and the temporary loss of his law license.

Judge Michael Helms also sentenced Raymond Marshall to submit to a psychologist's examination and to perform 70 hours of community service for the contempt of court violation.

Marshall cannot practice law for 30 days, but his license may be returned sooner if he performs the community service, Helms said.

An outburst in court by Marshall was the culmination of a dispute that began about a month ago, when one of Marshall's clients appeared before the judge on an assault charge _ the third time the case was brought to a trial.

Helms and Marshall clashed several times during the legal process, and Marshall filed a motion Sept. 29 seeking Helms' removal from the case, accusing the judge of intimidation.

On Oct. 4, the first day of the latest trial, Helms stopped Marshall during the questioning of one of the witnesses.

Marshall said "Lord," reared back in his chair with outstretched arms, cast his eyes upward and turned to the audience, Helms said.

"How am I supposed to take that?" Helms said Thursday as he penalized the lawyer. "If the court does not get the respect from members of the bar, we can't have the respect from clients, and then we have anarchy."

Marshall, who is also a minister, said the remark was the beginning of a prayer. He apologized to Helms and said he did not intend to be disrespectful or for his remark to be heard by others.

"When you're involved in trial and the motors are running ... there are times when you feel you need strength and my strength comes from God," Marshall said.

Attorneys at Thursday's hearing had mixed feelings about the ruling. District Attorney Tom Keith said the judgment was appropriate.

"There are rules of court we must comply with whether we think the judge is liberal, conservative, tough or easy, so you don't pick a fight with him regardless of how big you think your ego is," he said. "Ray violated the rules."

 

Vegitto

Diamond Member
May 3, 2005
5,234
1
0
Keep religion out of court, whether you're Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist, your religion doesn't belong in court. Justified, IMO.
 

aphex

Moderator<br>All Things Apple
Moderator
Jul 19, 2001
38,572
2
81
Originally posted by: Vegitto
Keep religion out of court, whether you're Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist, your religion doesn't belong in court. Justified, IMO.
I disagree. If it had been the judge saying it, then I would have a problem. But an attorney? I think he's entitled.

EDIT: ok, read the story now, the Judge was in the right and the attorney was out of line. He deserved it.
 

BrokenVisage

Lifer
Jan 29, 2005
24,768
6
81
Originally posted by: Vegitto
Keep religion out of court, whether you're Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist, your religion doesn't belong in court. Justified, IMO.
"Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.. so help you God?"

Yeah, I agree with you it should be kept out of law and government, but there will always be some element of it no matter what.
 

Mermaidman

Diamond Member
Sep 4, 2003
7,900
24
81
I wasn't because of the word "Lord." He was penalized for continually being disrespectful. Would've gotten the same penalty if he had for example said "Sheesh!" Threw up his arms and rolled his eyes.
 
Feb 10, 2000
30,029
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Here in Minneapolis, a guy named Dave Moskal was, several years ago, one of the most successful personal-injury lawyers in town. He was making a million dollars a year at age 30. He was known for ostentatiously displaying and consulting a Bible on the table during his trials, and when the judges told him to put it away (my mother, then a district court judge, once REALLY laid into him about this), would leave it in his briefcase, but continue to very openly consult it at key moments of the trial. He also had a habit of trotting his wife and kids into the courtroom for his closing arguments, and making reference to them.

Ultimately, he was found to have stolen $2.4 million in client and firm funds, and was sent to prison for five years. D'oh! The moral of the story is that, as a litigation attorney, I am always wary of lawyers who bring their religion into the courtroom and make a show of it. Nearly any judge will say the same thing.
 

Amused

Elite Member
Apr 14, 2001
54,097
7,493
126
This had NOTHING to do with the word "lord" and everything to do with his outbursts and general demeanor.

I love how it's twisted by the media in the headline. :roll:
 

Vegitto

Diamond Member
May 3, 2005
5,234
1
0
Originally posted by: BrokenVisage
Originally posted by: Vegitto
Keep religion out of court, whether you're Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist, your religion doesn't belong in court. Justified, IMO.
"Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.. so help you God?"

Yeah, I agree with you it should be kept out of law and government, but there will always be some element of it no matter what.
Oh, we don't have that over here. No Bibles, Qu'rans or whatever holy book allowed in courtrooms. And that's the way I like it :).
 

Cerpin Taxt

Lifer
Feb 23, 2005
11,912
411
126
Originally posted by: DonVito
Here in Minneapolis, a guy named Dave Moskal was, several years ago, one of the most successful personal-injury lawyers in town. He was making a million dollars a year at age 30. He was known for ostentatiously displaying and consulting a Bible on the table during his trials, and when the judges told him to put it away (my mother, then a district court judge, once REALLY laid into him about this), would leave it in his briefcase, but continue to very openly consult it at key moments of the trial. He also had a habit of trotting his wife and kids into the courtroom for his closing arguments, and making reference to them.

Ultimately, he was found to have stolen $2.4 million in client and firm funds, and was sent to prison for five years. D'oh! The moral of the story is that, as a litigation attorney, I am always wary of lawyers who bring their religion into the courtroom and make a show of it. Nearly any judge will say the same thing.
:thumbsup:

 

Jeff7

Lifer
Jan 4, 2001
41,599
17
81
Marshall said "Lord," reared back in his chair with outstretched arms, cast his eyes upward and turned to the audience, Helms said.
Sounds sort of like an expression of frustration more than anything.
Better than yelling, "Oh WTF!!!!"
 

TehMac

Diamond Member
Aug 18, 2006
9,979
3
71
Originally posted by: Vegitto
Keep religion out of court, whether you're Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist, your religion doesn't belong in court. Justified, IMO.
What if he yelled "Darwin!" ?
 

mercanucaribe

Banned
Oct 20, 2004
9,763
1
0
Originally posted by: Vegitto
Keep religion out of court, whether you're Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist, your religion doesn't belong in court. Justified, IMO.
Except for the Bible that you swear on?
 

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