Trials & Litigation

Legal Aid lawyer handcuffed, but not charged, after courtroom incident

Authorities are investigating a March 14 incident in which a 50-year-old New York lawyer who represents low-income clients for the Legal Aid Society says a court officer shouted at her and shoved her from behind into a wall at the Bronx criminal courthouse.

Elana Silberman says she was singled out by the officer, told to leave because she was talking during a court hearing, and, as she did so, followed toward the door and shoved with such force that she was flung into a wall across the vestibule, reports the New York Daily News.

Silberman was handcuffed and held for about 90 minutes, but not charged. She has not been back to work since. The Office of Court Administration and the Bronx County Bar Association are investigating.

“We are extremely concerned about our lawyer and how she was treated,” said Steven Banks, who serves as attorney-in-chief for the Legal Aid Society. “The condition and safety of our entire staff is of great concern to us.”

The court officer could not be reached by the Daily News for comment, but he remains on the job and was spoken of positively by colleagues the newspaper says.

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