Appellate Practice

Veteran lawyer fined $1K for using b-word to describe trial court in contempt-case appeal

An ugly word used by a veteran Michigan business lawyer to describe a trial court in a written appeal of a contempt case resulted in a double whammy.

After upholding the Kent County Circuit Court’s contempt finding against David Charron, the Michigan Court of Appeals also fined him $1,000 for “undignified or discourteous conduct toward the tribunal” in his October 2013 appellate brief, reports.

“Such derogatory and undeserved comments serve no legitimate purpose,” wrote the appellate court in its unpublished Thursday opinion (PDF).

Charron still thinks the underlying contempt case, which concerned his failure to follow the trial court’s instructions concerning the transfer of business assets, was unjust, However, he said he doesn’t know why he included the offending sentence in his appellate brief. It states: “When the judiciary acts as the bitch for the complainant, we get rulings like this.”

He said he plans to appeal the contempt case to the state’s highest court but will pay the $1,000 sanction next week, the article reports.

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