Thursday, February 11, 2010

Chicago Criminal lawyer comments on Kevin Trudeau's criminal contempt hearing

This Chicago Criminal lawyer was surprised to hear that a judge received a deluge of emails during a case before him. Unfortunately, the defendant asked his supporters to contact the judge.

From Kevin Trudeau's blog

February 11, 2010 by KT
Filed under Kevin's Blog

To my listeners and email club subscribers,
Yesterday, as you know I asked you to communicate with Judge Gettleman of the Northern District Court of Illinois. That was a mistake. It was wrong to make that request. Please do not under any circumstances communicate with the court or Judge Gettleman. I apologize for this mistake.
Yours in Health,
Kevin Trudeau
He certainly discovered just how big a mistake it was when Judge Gettleman could hold him for up to 6 months, although the judge has already indicated that he was more apt to consider a period of custody and a fine.

From the Chicago Sun Times

Kevin Trudeau, the slick, silver-tongued infomercial king and best-selling author amassed a fortune over years of persistent, late-night hawking.

This week, he made the wrong sales pitch.
Trudeau was found in criminal contempt of court Thursday and nearly had handcuffs slapped on him after he asked his supporters to email the federal judge overseeing a pending civil case brought against him by the Federal Trade Commission.

U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman said he was flooded with hundreds of “harassing, threatening and interfering” emails, locking up the judge’s email system and shutting down his Blackberry for part of the day.

“This is direct contempt — that’s how I view it,” Gettleman said. “He interfered with the direct process of the court.”

Gettleman hauled Trudeau into court a day after he posted a message on his Web site with his appeal. Gettleman ordered Trudeau to turn over his passport, pay $50,000 bond and warned he could face future prison time.

Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 42. Criminal Contempt:
(3) Trial and Disposition. A person being prosecuted for
criminal contempt is entitled to a jury trial in any case in
which federal law so provides and must be released or detained
as Rule 46 provides. If the criminal contempt involves disrespect toward or criticism of a judge, that judge is disqualified from presiding at the contempt trial or hearing unless the defendant consents. Upon a finding or verdict of guilty, the court must impose the punishment.
I doubt Mr. Trudeau had discussed his call for help as a strategy with his lawyer prior to asking his supporters to contact Judge Gettleman. I guess Mr. Trudeau serves as a lesson to everyone, if you have a case pending before a judge, it puts your case at a disadvantage if the judge becomes disenchanted with you.

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