Skip to comments.Judge: Lawyer is too drunk to argue case
Posted on 08/08/2006 2:24:25 PM PDT by martin_fierro
Judge: Lawyer is too drunk to argue case
1 hour, 9 minutes ago
LAS VEGAS - A judge ordered a blood-alcohol test for a defense lawyer whom she said smelled of alcohol, then declared a mistrial after declaring him too tipsy to argue a kidnapping case.
"I don't think you can tell a straight story because you are intoxicated," Clark County District Judge Michelle Leavitt told defense lawyer Joseph Caramango as she declared a mistrial for Caramango's client, Dale Jakuchunas.
Caramango told the Las Vegas Review-Journal for a Tuesday report that he was not drunk, and had been ready to go forward with witness testimony. Jakuchunas, 32, faces life in prison if convicted.
"I've always considered myself the consummate professional," Caramango said. "I take all my cases very personally."
He said he received a head injury in a rear-end car crash while driving to court on Thursday, but that police were not called. Caramango did not immediately respond Tuesday to a message seeking comment.
In an exchange recorded by courtroom video, Caramango arrived about 90 minutes late for trial, and can be heard slurring his words.
The judge asked if something was wrong, and said she became suspicious when details of Caramango's accident account varied.
Caramango also identified a woman who accompanied him to court as his ex-girlfriend, and called her Christine. Questioned by the judge, the woman identified herself as Josephine and said she just met Caramango about 20 minutes earlier at a nearby bar and grill.
Leavitt summoned Caramango and prosecutors into her chambers and ordered Caramango to be examined by a courthouse nurse.
The nurse told the judge that Caramango said he had shots of tequila hours before court. Caramango acknowledged in court that he was drinking the previous night, but maintained he was not drunk.
Leavitt ordered Caramango to take a breath test in court, then declared a mistrial.
"For the record," the judge said, "your blood-alcohol content is .075."
The legal blood-alcohol limit for drivers in Nevada is 0.08 percent.
Leavitt did not hold Caramango in contempt of court, and it was not immediately clear whether he will face discipline from the State Bar of Nevada.
They specialize in Subpoena Coladas.
If I ever had to appear in court and my lawyer showed up drunk, I'd have an assault beef facing me as well.
Is Teddy practicing law now???
We had an alcoholic judge here locally. Legend has it he used to show up for afternoon court sessions with a flask under his robe. He was ultimately dismissed, but thanks to our idiot laws and system of government here, he "retired" with full pension.
Too drunk to argue? No way.....
He was .075 and the drunk driving limit is .080. So he was legal to drive. .075 is not very much alcohol. I'm really surprised he was slurring his words. Something vewwwwwyy strange here.
Alcohol can hit people differently. I knew a girl in college who would become retarded off two beers.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.