Legal Ethics

Lawyer Who Said He Cannot Competently Represent Child-Rape Defendant Is Jailed for Contempt


A Louisiana attorney who told a New Orleans judge, two days into trial, that he could not competently represent a defendant in a child-rape case was jailed Tuesday, apparently for contempt, until he becomes willing to “perform his duties.”

It wasn’t clear Tuesday afternoon how long Claiborne Brown would be held in custody, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. A hearing is scheduled Friday in the St. Tammany Parish case.

Meanwhile, Judge William Burris, who said Brown had been doing a competent job so far in selecting a jury and giving an opening statement, rescheduled the trial of Brown’s client, Joshua Cumberland, for July.

United Press International also has a story.

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