The term “litigious” is frequently tossed about in legal circles, but on Wednesday its apparent embodiment stood in shackles before a Fulton County, Ga., judge who patiently heard him out before sending him back to the jail where he had spent the night.

At 88, Moreton Rolleston Jr. presented a short, seemingly frail figure in the bulky winter coat he wore to court, cinched around his waist by the chain, and continually demanded that his handcuffs be removed. The lawyer, who in October was feted for 50 years as a member of the Georgia Bar, remained defiant, repeatedly rising and attempting to leave his chair to approach the bench, only to be gently restrained by the deputy behind him.