Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
D.C. Superior Court’s Erik Christian has a reputation for being a tough judge who runs a tight ship. He has no compunction about issuing bench warrants for those who show up late to his courtroom — defendants and lawyers alike — or locking up those he feels deserve it. Recently, a lawyer with the D.C. Public Defender Service found herself in Christian’s cross hairs. Gladys Weatherspoon was in the middle of defending her client in a murder trial on Oct. 28 when the judge had her removed from the courtroom and held in contempt. What exactly happened is still being debated, and Superior Court regulars are awaiting an official transcript. But according to two sources who were in the courtroom, the incident occurred during arguments over Weatherspoon’s subpoena of a government witness and a request for a mistrial. Weatherspoon told the judge that she believed the court was being unfair to her and her client. At some point she muttered something along the lines of “This is absurd.” Christian asked Weatherspoon to repeat herself, and then, the sources say, he asked the U.S. marshal to step Weatherspoon back — a phrase that means take into custody. The entire incident lasted only about five minutes and took place while the jury was out of the courtroom. When the trial resumed, Weatherspoon was back at the defense table, though her client was ultimately found guilty. Weatherspoon declined to comment on the incident through a Public Defender Service spokeswoman. Calls to Christian’s chambers were not returned.
Bethany Broida can be contacted at [email protected].

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.