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Judge Grants Request to Bar Prosecutor ‘Jaw-Jacking’ Outside Chambers

Posted Jan 9, 2012 7:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A makeshift sign posted outside the chambers of an Indiana judge consists of the word “jaw-jacking” covered by a circle with a line through it.

The warning was posted outside the chambers of Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr. of Lake County after he granted a defense lawyer’s request to bar prosecutors from congregating and sipping coffee outside his offices. The Post-Tribune has the story.

The lawyer, Jerry Peteet, represents a rape defendant facing a retrial. He told the judge he wasn’t making any accusations of wrongdoing, but he thought the gatherings had an appearance of impropriety, the story says.

Before ruling, Stefaniak noted that Peteet also socializes before court begins. Peteet said his conversations were different, according to the Post-Tribune account. “I’m sitting in your courtroom in the open, not back there jaw-jacking,” Peteet said.

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