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Courts and Crime


Akron bar pushes high court to find Beacon reporter in contempt
The bar association calls the newspaper arrogant in fighting its subpoena in a lawyer discipline case
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
In The Region:

The Akron Bar Association has filed a motion with the Ohio Supreme Court laying out the reasons the state high court should find a Beacon Journal reporter in contempt. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has more on a case that has drawn national attention:

LISTEN: Akron bar arguments

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Windows Media / MP3 Download (1:09)


The bar association insists it is not harassing the reporter, Phil Trexler. It says it simply wants him obey its subpoena, and testify and answer questions under oath about the accuracy of a story he wrote. 

That accuracy is key to a dispute between a Summit County judge and a lawyer whose 80-year-old client was arrested after he failed to appear for a hearing in a civil case. Trexler’s story quoted the lawyer saying he had never been notified of the hearing nor received the arrest warrants for his client.
The judge in that civil case said the lawyer was disparaging him and took a complaint for disciplinary action to the bar association. 

The lawyer said he was partially misquoted. And the bar association says it needs to question Trexler about that – and that written statement by Trexler verifying the accuracy of his story is not enough.

The Beacon Journal has challenged the subpoena, saying forcing a reporter to undergo cross-examination by a quasi-judicial body is a dangerous precedent. But the bar association says its job – disciplining lawyers and upholding the integrity of the legal system – is “of at least as much public importance as civil proceedings.”

It accuses Trexler of a “baseless refusal” to testify. It also calls the Beacon Journal’s attitude “arrogant and insulting” to the court.

Here are links to the Akron Bar Association's filings with the Supreme Court:

http://www.wksu.org/news/attachments/38296/Relator-Response-for-Mtn-Contempt-2-13-14.pdf 

http://www.wksu.org/news/attachments/38296/Relator-Motion-to-Hold-Phil-Trexler-in-Contempt-of-Court.pdf

http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/Boards/BOC/default.asp


Related WKSU Stories

Beacon Journal fights contempt threat from bar association in lawyer discipline case
Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Akron Beacon Journal and reporter could be held in contempt
Friday, February 7, 2014

Beacon Journal fights contempt threat from bar association in lawyer discipline case
Wednesday, February 12, 2014

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