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Did unpaid, newbie prosecutor imperil case by thanking juror Tom Hanks? Contact leads to plea deal

Posted Sep 13, 2013 7:02 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A domestic violence prosecution began to unravel after a lawyer in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office approached a juror in the stairwell to thank him for his service.

The juror was actor Tom Hanks, report CNN, TMZ and the New York Daily News. The contact by the lawyer—who wasn’t the prosecuting attorney in the case—led the defense lawyer to seek a mistrial. The case ended on Wednesday with a deal in which the defendant pleaded guilty to disturbing the peace and agreed to pay a $150 fine.

In a separate story, TMZ says the lawyer who approached Hanks graduated from a Los Angeles law school last year and is part of a volunteer program in the City Attorney’s office. The volunteer lawyers work for free for up to a year to get experience trying cases.

A spokesperson said the City Attorney has been apprised of the situation and is reviewing the incident.

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