Monday, August 30, 2010

Privilege and Contempt

The following exchange occurred in February between Jefferson County District Judge Annette Karem (left) and Louisville attorney "Mikki" Adams (below), a veteran family law attorney:

At An Abortion "Bypass" hearing (this is a proceeding where a minor seeks to avoid obtaining parental consent prior to obtaining an abortion in this case "J.J." testified that her parents were drunks--the Judge sought information in order to report the child abuse and neglect testified to by "J.J."):

Attorney Adams: “ I respectfully decline to give any information that I may have. At this time I have no information. … I do not know anything other than that her initials are “J.J” and that her first name is (redacted). … And she has instructed me to decline giving any information. She is my client. The privilege is hers. It is not mine. … “

Judge Karem: “ And how do you know her first name?”

Attorney Adams: “ She gave it to me.”

Judge Karem: “ But she didn't give you her last name?”

Attorney Adams: “ She did give me her last name, and I am not going to give it to the court.”

Judge Karem: “ So you do know her last name?”

Attorney Adams: “ Yes, I do, and I'm not going to give it to the court.”

Judge Karem: “ That is contrary … to what you told me a few seconds ago, that you didn't have any other information but her first name.”

Attorney Adams: “ I misspoke. I'm sorry.”

Judge Karem: “ At this point I think you need to be quiet.”

Attorney Adams: “ Whatever.”

Judge Karem: “Ma'am, you have an attitude.”
Judge Karem found Ms. Adams in contempt of court and sentenced her to jail for 6 months.  According to an excellent story at the Louisville Courier-Journal by Andrew Wolfson, the matter is pending before the Court of Appeals and Ms. Admas' incarceration is on hold.

I've actually been in this dilemma as a lawyer, fortunately for me my client "waived" his privilege and I was able to make the disclosure demanded by opposing counsel and the court.  But I didn't preface my refusal to make the disclosure with the flippant "misstatement" which is causing attorney Adams so much grief.  You see what's going on here, is a battle of wills between two veteran attorneys neither of whom wishes to appear foolish. 

In my opinion, Ms. Adams owes Judge Karem an apology for the flippancy of her "misrepresentation," and Judge Karem should yield to the principle of privilege.


  1. She did what an attorney has to do...not disclose confidential/ attorney-client information. Fuck off judge judy.

  2. Karem has the attitude. She really is a bad judge, Arrogant.

  3. I have never experienced such a kangaroo Court room as the one Ms. Annette Karem resides over. She takes the J in justice and turns it into a JOKE! I am amazed that the people of Louisville, Ky. aren't embarrassed by her. I was extremely embarrasses for her I am also bewildered that she is IT for family Guardianship cases! She behaves like a teen ager, waving her power as judge around like some sorority pin. How unfortunate she happens to be female because she has no idea what that means, she has no heart, no compassion no maturity just wants to be in the good ol' boys club! She rules over family matters with the superficiality and shallowness that only someone of her reputation and demeanor arrogance ignorance Could, her inability to listen makes her a nuisance to society. Please Louisville you CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS! Think next time you vote this is not a high school popularity contest these are human being lives this heartless, clueless,sub human creature is playing with.

  4. I agreeeeee!!! This judge is arrogant, doesn't listen and makes a mockeries of people's time. She claims she is an advocate for the mentally ill but she shows no concern! She declined amental inquest warrant on a mental I'll veteran. When I came before her doing motion hour. This judge took no responsibility for admitting her mistake but proceeded to praise a state Guardian who was not doing her job in taking care for this person's well-being and safety. Why and how did she become a judge in this capacity. She has no compassion!!!

  5. Annette Karem is a bully and a disgrace.

  6. It would be just if she listened to both parties involved before ruling. To me that is a messed up system.

  7. I have seen this woman be smug with families in court. She does not listen. She takes whatever the state is wanting and just goes with that. This is a bad judge. She is mean-spirited and arrogant.