By Beth Miller
SACRAMENTO, CA – Within a four-month period, the founder of a Sacramento criminal defense law firm failed to check into the court system a total of six times, and was ordered by a judge here in Sacramento County Superior Court last week to appear in person to answer for the absences.
He admitted his “guilt,” and listed personal reasons which contributed to his scheduling errors. The judge found that there was good cause and did not impose any sanctions.
Still, the attorney had to stand before the judge to answer questions.
The defense attorney was ordered to show cause for failure to check in on one case, for which he is the defense attorney, on March 5 and July 30. He also failed to check in on four other cases between the months of March and June.
“I have no justification… When the court began implementing those requirements I have to admit I was not good at calendaring check in times prior to appearance dates,” he said.
The judge noted that after the attorney failed to check in, the court either emailed the defense panel or sent him an email attaching the presiding judge’s standing order reminding him that he needed to check in and that if he failed to check in again he would need to come to court.
By July 30, the attorney said he had implemented a new system in which everything is in place.
On July 29, he explained he tried to check in but the case was not in the system. The following day, he believed another attorney would be checking in on the case. However, he said that that attorney had been going through some health issues.
He noted he had recently lost a friend, who was also an attorney and had been trying to help the family. “It just slipped through the cracks…,” he said.
The attorney insisted that his intention to commit to the check-in system exists and that he will do what he can to adhere to the system in the future, stating, “I’m doing my very best to make sure that this does not ever happen again.”
The judge noted that the attorney had emailed the court regarding his friend and that “…each time we contacted you, you took responsibility and you were apologetic.”