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Public Defenders

Dogged Argument Lands PD in Jail

Posted Sep 5, 2007 7:48 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Washington, D.C., lawyer with the public defender's office ended up in a holding cell last week after a heated argument with a judge.

Judge John Bayly Jr. said he acted because the PD, Liyah Brown, argued over with him over whether her client was homeless—and kept on arguing even when he told her to stop, Legal Times reports. Bayly ordered Brown jailed, but later released her without filing contempt charges.

Bayly explained himself to Julia Leighton, the general counsel of the public defender service, saying Brown was like a terrier who wouldn’t let go of a bone.

"She was oppositional and defiant,” he told Leighton. “Not in an unpleasant way, you understand, you know, but she just defiantly refused what I said to do, which was to stop talking."

Leighton says Brown’s imprisonment was unwarranted and contends Bayly abused his power.

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