Judge Jails Tardy Attorney

Tuesday, May 7, 2013  |  Updated 7:16 AM EDT
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Judge Jails Tardy Attorney

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You don’t want to "waste" the time of at least one judge’s time.

A Berks County judge fined and briefly jailed a defense attorney who was nearly an hour late for jury selection in a drug case.

Judge Stephen Lieberman told attorney B. David Marcial his tardiness wasted a jury pool and fined him $1,000. The judge had dismissed the pool after the defense table sat empty Monday morning.

"We were all here at 9 a.m. for a jury trial and the defense table was empty," the judge said, according to the Reading Eagle. "We wasted a jury panel."

The judge says Marcial will have to serve 10 days in prison if the money is not paid within 60 days.

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The Reading Eagle reports that after Marcial and his client arrived around 9:50 a.m. Monday, the judge ordered them both locked up in the courthouse cell block. His client, Jesus Ortiz, had been free on $120,000 bail while awaiting trial.

Marcial said he didn't get a wake-up call from a hotel receptionist after a late night dealing with "personal problems."

Besides the fine for Marcial, the judge also upped bail for Ortiz to $3 million, according to the paper.

 


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