Citing show-cause order against Reed Smith partner, judge allows firm to withdraw from case
Then-Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby speaks during a news conference in December 2019 in Baltimore. Photo by Julio Cortez/The Associated Press.
A federal judge in Maryland is allowing four Reed Smith lawyers to withdraw from the representation of former Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby because of possible contempt proceedings against one of them.
U.S. District Judge Lydia Kay Griggsby of the District of Maryland allowed the withdrawal during a virtual hearing Friday and appointed the federal public defender to represent Mosby, report Law360, CBS News and the Baltimore Sun. Griggsby also allowed two other lawyers to withdraw.
Mosby is facing accusations of lying to make a hardship withdrawal from her retirement account and filing false mortgage applications to buy two homes in Florida. She lost in the Democratic primary when she sought reelection, according to the Associated Press.
Griggsby has ordered Reed Smith partner A. Scott Bolden to show cause why he shouldn’t be sanctioned for criminal contempt, partly for disclosing confidential jury questionnaire responses in a court filing and using profanity during a press conference.
During the hearing Friday, Griggsby said the show-cause order might make Bolden think that he has to “pull punches” if he continues to represent Mosby. The other Reed Smith lawyers could be witnesses or potential witnesses as Bolden responds to the show-cause order, Griggsby said.
Defense lawyers said in a court filing Bolden’s use of a profanity during the press conference was “aberrational” and was related to the government’s “specious argument in seeking an 11th-hour continuance.”
Griggsby had also criticized Bolden for a press conference statement about Black politicians being at risk of prosecution. The defense lawyers said those comments were a “10-second sound bite” during a four-minute press conference.
The confidential information consisted of use of “anonymous quotations” from jury questionnaires in an attempt to respond to government arguments and to show that pretrial publicity had tainted the jury pool, Bolden has said.
Griggsby also said Bolden had filed a court document without the signature of a Maryland lawyer, which was needed because Bolden is an out-of-state lawyer who appeared with the court’s permission in the case.
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