Tennessee Judge Says Court Can’t Punish Errant Lawyer

June 15, 2009

A Knoxville judge has deemed himself powerless to punish a prominent Knoxville defense attorney for in contempt of court.

Judge Dale Workman deemed attorney Herbert S. Moncier guilty of contempt for asking potential jurors about insurance issues in a civil trial against the judge’s order.

He said the court has no punishment that would be effective for Moncier.

Before Workman declared a mistrial, Moncier had won his client in the civil case at issue $750,000, of which Moncier would stand to take a substantial cut for his work. If Workman removes Moncier, he would net nothing from a victory in a second trial.

The Knoxville News Sentinel report Moncier also is suspended from to practicing law in federal court for at least five years and has a looming battle with the Board of Professional Responsibility over his law license.

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