Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sleeping Lawyer, That's a Mistrial

A while back on Bad Lawyer we looked at the case of the fake lawyer in Colorado which despite discovery following "his client's" conviction--did not result in an immediate reversal;  now in Youngstown, Ohio we have the case of the sleeping lawyer.  Fortunately, this sleeping lawyer situation did result in a mistrial being declared according to the account at the Youngstown Vindicator.  This is from John Goodwin's article on jury selection:

"Prosecutors and defense attorneys were set for the start of a third trial in the case this week but did not make it past jury selection before Judge James C. Evans of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court declared a mistrial.  A prospective juror pointed out that one of the defense attorneys had been sleeping during questioning of potential jurors.  Atty. John B. Juhasz, representing Anderson, was doing the questioning. One prospective juror told Juhasz that she could not continue to pay proper attention when co-counsel Atty. David Gerchak was sleeping in the courtroom.

'That just unnerved me. This is a man here [on trial], and your partner is sleeping. Wow!' the woman said.

[The lawyer] David Gerchak explained that his sleeping in no way demonstrates a lack of interest in the case. He said he has just been diagnosed with diabetes and is taking medications to control the disease, but those medications can make him fall asleep."
Yes, I guess at a minimum you want your lawyer to stay awake during the murder trial.    At least Gerchak was a real lawyer.

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