Legal Ethics

Speeding Lawyer Not Fast Enough on Her Feet With Court Excuse

An Arkansas lawyer is facing a contempt of court charge after reportedly telling a Carroll County judge she couldn’t appear before him the next day because she was in St. Louis, awaiting a federal appeals court hearing.

But after Cindy Baker was ticketed for speeding the next morning in northwest Arkansas, Judge Gerald Kent Crow investigated further. He was told by federal appeals court personnel that Baker had finished her 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals argument at about 1 p.m. on Jan. 15, some four hours before she called him to postpone her Jan. 16 hearings, reports the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

“I believe she deliberately lied to me, and her conduct is so egregious that I would impose penalties that might exceed what another judge would consider reasonable,” writes Crow in a Jan. 22 letter asking that another judge be appointed to hear the misdemeanor case against Baker.

A trial is scheduled for April 28, and, depending on its outcome, Baker’s case may also attract the attention of the Arkansas Supreme Court’s Committee on Professional Conduct. If convicted of contempt, she could face a fine of up to $100 and as much as 30 days in jail.

Jeff Rosenzweig, a Little Rock lawyer representing Baker, says there was a mix-up; appeals court personnel told her that she needed to stay in St. Louis after her hearing there. The article doesn’t explain how Crow found out about Baker’s speeding ticket. She reportedly was cited for driving 79 mph in a 55-mph zone.

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