Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Overheard in the court

At the Court of Appeals yesterday, while I was waiting for arguments in the Baby case to start, I sat and listened to the arguments in another case, Attorney Grievance Commission v. Ralph Edward Hall Jr.

Hall, who is married, apparently slept with a client. He was also carrying on an affair with another woman.

This case produced all manner of interesting discussions, including a lively debate about whether having consensual sex with your client is worse than spanking your client and your secretary. (The spanking referred to a 1993 attorney grievance case where the spanker was suspended indefinitely but not disbarred.)

But the jaw-dropping, did-he-just-say-that moment came during a discussion of how Hall lied to both of his mistresses about the existence of the other and about the state of his relationship with his wife.

Judge Dale Cathell interrupted the commission’s lawyer, highlighting the tendency of people in adulterous affairs to lie:

“I know a little bit about — not necessarily about adultery — I know a little bit about men...”

Judge Glenn Harrell, who had been leaning back in his chair, immediately jerked upright at the word "adultery." Judge Irma Raker broke into shocked-looking laughter. Judge Lynne Battaglia leaned way forward in her chair to stare at Cathell. Chief Judge Robert Bell put his hand over his face and warned Cathell, “careful, careful, careful.”

Cathell continued: ..."I don't know much about women. I always thought, in a situation such as this, everybody presumed a lot of lying was going on."

Check it out for yourself here, 25 minutes and 38 seconds into the arguments.

-CARYN TAMBER, Legal Affairs Writer

Note: After a phone call from Judge Cathell's office, we listened to the webcast several times again and revised this post to reflect the Judge's remarks more precisely and in fuller context.


Anonymous said...

This is a literally rude awakening for a new reader of The Daily Record. I have long known that, in newspapers, if it doesn't smell, it doesn't sell.

I had hoped to find that last bastion of editorial integrity in TDR. But, my search, like that of Diogenese, continues.

Jerry said...

It appears to me that there is a difference between TDR (in print and on its website and this blog.

The style of writing, the choice of stories, and the "personality" of this blog seem different than that of the main site.

And, personally, I think that is a good thing.

I say keep it up.

Stephen said...

I wish anonymous would specify how this item equates to a "lack of integrity."

We can't be in the courtroom, but journalists can. Why shouldn't this particular journalist report what happened?