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Legal Ethics

Lawyer Who Made Lewd Courtroom Gesture Sentenced to 90 Days in Jail

Posted Apr 17, 2008 7:11 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A Texas lawyer found guilty of contempt for making a lewd courtroom gesture has been released on a personal recognizance bond while he appeals a 90-day jail sentence.

Lawyer Adam Reposa of Austin told reporters after he was sentenced yesterday that the punishment was “fair,” Texas Lawyer reports.

Visiting Judge Paul Davis said the gesture, which simulated masturbation, tarnished the dignity of the judicial process, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

Reposa of Austin had testified that the gesture was aimed at the prosecuting attorney rather than the judge. But Judge Jan Breland told Davis that Reposa made the hand motion while looking directly at her.

The incident occurred after the prosecutor complained that Reposa was whispering in his client’s ear during the prosecutor’s explanation of a plea offer on a drunken driving charge. Reposa said he wasn’t happy with the offer.

Davis is a retired judge who hears cases on a substitute basis. He also teaches a class on courtroom decorum. "It is my honor to uphold the integrity of the judicial process,” he said.

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