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“Erroneous Finding of Contempt” Against Wisc. Defense Attorney Is Vacated

By November 12, 2018 No Comments

A contempt of court finding against a defense attorney, who was apparently detained for expressing frustration at a judge through body language, was vacated last week in Milwaukee. Reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Circuit Judge David Borowski’s decision to have [attorney] Puck Tsai briefly detained Oct. 26 generated an immediate backlash from the State Public Defender’s Office and the criminal defense bar in general.” On the 26th, Tsai had been arguing in front of Borowski that his client should not have cash bail imposed. Tsai was in the process of pointing out his client’s presumed innocence at that stage of the criminal proceedings when he was told by Borowski to sit down. Borowski then said, “Rolling your eyes, throwing your hands in the air, acting like I’m some kind of idiot gets you locked up for contempt.” After the contempt finding was vacated, the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office “issued a statement that it was pleased that Borowski vacated what it called an erroneous finding of contempt.” As Tsai’s supervisor wrote in a letter to the judge, “It is of utmost importance to us that Attorney Tsai’s reputation be restored.”