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An Ohio attorney held in contempt of court for refusing to try a case three hours after meeting his client has won his appeal.

In August 2007, Public Defender Brian Jones requested a continuance after he discovered that the client he had just met was facing a trial the same day. Judge John Plough postponed the case for 2 hours. When Jones refused to proceed, Judge Plough held him in contempt of court. Jones was ordered to pay a fine and reimburse witnesses for the time they had to appear in court. In finding for Jones, the appellate court stated, “Judge Plough improperly placed an administrative objective of controlling the court’s docket above its supervisory imperative of facilitating effective, prepared representation and a fair trial.” Jones’ attorney, Ian N. Friedman, commented, “It would have been unethical for the lawyer to proceed with a case he wasn’t prepared for, through no fault of his own.”

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