Legal Ethics

Contempt Trial for Arrested PD


CORRECTED: There’s no word yet about the result of a contempt trial scheduled today in the case of an Ohio assistant public defender briefly jailed last week after he refused to try a case he’d been assigned the previous day.

Brian Jones, who is to be represented by a fellow assistant Portage County public defender in the Kent, Ohio, trial, says the new case was one of more than half a dozen that he was juggling at the time, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Portage County Municipal Court Judge John Plough—the same jurist who ordered Jones arrested for contempt on Aug. 16 when he said he hadn’t had enough time to prepare the new case—reportedly was to preside at the contempt trial. An effort to disqualify him failed, writes the Bedford Record-Courier, an Ohio newspaper.

An earlier ABAJournal.com post about the case sparked a slew of outraged comments, and the Record-Courier says fellow defense lawyers have rallied to support Jones. Earlier this week, Portage County Public Defender Dennis Lager, Assistant Portage County Public Defender Robin Bostick and Ian N. Friedman, a Cleveland attorney, filed a 36-page brief on his behalf. It was also signed by approximately 65 other attorneys, according to the newspaper.

(The original version of this post inadvertently referred to Mr. Jones as a prosecutor. He is an assistant public defender. The Journal regrets the error.)

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