Trials & Litigation
‘Disrespectful’ lawyer held in contempt after calling judge’s bond ruling ‘ridiculous’
By Martha Neil
Feb 20, 2013, 05:45 pm CST
Opinions differed about exactly what happened during a bond hearing in a suburban Chicago courtroom last week.
But both defense attorney Robert Ritacca and his opponent in the matter, assistant Lake County state’s attorney Danielle Pascucci, agree that he was held in contempt and fined $1,000, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Ritacca said he was also taken into custody at the order of Judge James Booras, after he used the word “ridiculous.” That was in response to the jurist’s decision to raise a client’s bond from $2,000 to $75,000, because the defendant had been 22 minutes late on his curfew. At that point, Booras fined the lawyer $500 for contempt and, when Ritacca called the fine “ridiculous,” added another $500 to the tally.
However, Pascucci blamed Ritacca for being held briefly, saying: “He went into custody, but not by order of the court. He just said, ‘Take me.’ He took his tie off and threw it on the deputy’s desk,” the newspaper recounts.
Pascucci also said Ritacca was “disrespectful,” raised his voice and “flailed” his arms at the time of the contempt finding.
Ritacca, who is based in Waukegan and has been in practice for more than 30 years, said he did nothing wrong and contended that he was simply representing his client.