Legal Ethics

Lawyer who didn't pay additional lawsuit sanction remains in jail

A Washington, D.C., judge sent a lawyer back to jail on Tuesday after a hearing on the lawyer’s failure to pay an additional $123,000 in sanctions imposed in a civil lawsuit.

Judge Gregory Jackson said lawyer George Crawford, a former administrative law judge, “holds the key to his jail cell,” according to The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.

Crawford has been jailed twice for failing to pay court-ordered sanctions in a suit over unpaid loans, the story says. The first time Crawford was sanctioned $30,000 when he refused to make three $10,000 payments as required by a settlement of the case. He was jailed for less than two weeks in December and released after paying part of the sanctions. That same month, Crawford lost his job as chief administrative law judge for the District of Columbia Department of Employment Services.

Crawford eventually paid the full $30,000 sanction, but then amassed an additional $123,000 in sanctions, according to The BLT. Jackson sent Crawford back to jail on April 15 for failing to make good-faith efforts to pay; Crawford contends he can’t afford to pay.

Jackson met privately with lawyers on both sides on Tuesday, as well as with Crawford and Crawford’s family. In court, Jackson said Crawford would remain in jail until any settlement was put in writing.

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