A California appeals court came down on a San Mateo County Superior Court judge in a published opinion Friday, criticizing the way the trial court handled the contempt case of an elderly, cash-strapped attorney who failed to pay $10,000 in court sanctions.

In a divorce case, attorney Henry Koehler failed to return confidential documents belonging to his client’s parents-in-law, and his side was slapped with the $10,000 discovery sanctions.

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