Tuesday, November 04, 2008, 11:37 PM

Cell Phone Contempt Reversed

Today, in State v. Phair, the COA reversed a contempt order issued against a criminal defense lawyer for keeping her cell phone on in court. Her cell phone rang during the State's questioning of a witness. The trial court ordered her to forfeit her phone so it could be destroyed, or to pay a $100 fine. The COA held that she merely make a mistake in not turning off her phone before entering the courtroom; it was "certainly irresponsible" but not a conscious disregard of the trial court's authority.


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