Articles Tagged with “Criminal Contempt”

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Robert Peoples is no stranger to car trouble.

After his release from prison, he brought three lawsuits against South Carolina prison officials for violating his civil rights.

On the day of jury selection for his civil rights suit, Mr. Peoples was late. The federal judge hearing the case told Mr. Peoples that he had to be in court the next morning by 9:30.

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It’s a dog’s breakfast of victories in the nation’s federal criminal appellate courts.

Personally, I love a good case on the district court’s contempt power — look to see the Fourth Circuit’s contempt reversal in United States v. Peoples profiled in more depth a little later in the week. The case has everything — a pro se litigant, a finding of contempt, and profanity (which is tastefully referred to in the opinion). It reminds me of another great pro se contempt case from last year. It reminds me, too, of the Sixth Circuit’s relatively recent case on the limits of a district court’s power to sanction a lawyer. Always good stuff.

Which is not to give short shrift to the two other wins from last week — resentencing in an illegal reentry case and unsupported supervised release conditions in a federal sex case.

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James Kimsey was not a lawyer.

But when Frederick Rizzolo was deep in a hard bit of contentious litigation, James Kimsey wanted to help out. Mr. Rizzolo’s lawyers withdrew from the case. Mr. Rizzolo tried to go on without a lawyer, but his efforts were poor. One can imagine that Mr. Rizzolo felt the situation was bleak.

68920_law_education_series_5.jpgJames Kimsey came to the rescue. While not a lawyer, Mr. Kimsey had some prior legal experience – he was previously sanctioned for the unauthorized practice of law. He was also, apparently, willing to work for free.