Michigan attorney, Scott Millard, had been practicing law for less than two months when he ran into Judge Kenneth Post earlier this month. Today, he is a folk-hero for standing up to an overbearing judge while representing his client on a bail application.
Millard’s client was seeking bail having been charged as a minor in possession of alcohol. During the hearing Judge Post asked Mr. Millard’s client when he had last used drugs. Millard believed it was not in his client’s best interests to answer that question and invoked the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution regarding self-incrimination. The following exchange took place next:
Lawyer: I’m his attorney your Honour.
Judge: I’m encouraged.
Judge: I’m not interested in what you think. Haven’t you gotten that yet?
Lawyer: I have gotten that and I…understand that, and your Honour, the Court fully, certainly has the right not to care what I say. How…
Judge: Thank you. Then be quiet.
Judge: When was the last time, the date that you last used controlled substances?
Lawyer: (attempts to interrupt)
Judge: One more word and I’m going to hold you in contempt.
Lawyer: (continues to fight for his client and invokes the Sixth Amendment regarding the right to have counsel)
Judge: (lawyer is cited for contempt and fined $100.)
Lawyer: (again attempts to interject)
Judge: Counsel, I’m holding you in contempt of court. Remand him to the jail.
Mr. Millard spent four hours in jail before his law firm colleagues brought the matter to a senior judge who released him. Judge Post had intended to hold Mr. Millard in jail throughout the weekend. A complaint has been made to the judicial council and Millard is reaping the positive publicity of his polite, but unrelenting attempts to represent his client.
Not surprisingly, fellow members of the bar in Michigan are applauding Millard’s stance and decrying Judge Post’s bullying behavior, for which he is apparently well-known.
For a lawyer who practiced for only two months, Scott Millard’s resolve is extraordinary.
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang