A strong admonishment of an attorney by a Jefferson Circuit Court was captured on video and has gone viral. The ABA recently published the video on its website http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/jefferson_circuit_kentucky_judge_martin_mcdonald_backseat_driver_video/
The Court’s lecture appears to be the result of counsel’s attempts to contact the court ex-parte. Kentucky Supreme Court Rule 3.130(3.5) discusses impartiality and decorum of the tribunal. The rule specifically provides:
A lawyer shall not:
(a) seek to influence a judge, juror, prospective juror or other official by means prohibited by law;
(b) communicate ex parte with such a person as to the merits of the cause except as permitted
by law or court order;
(c) communicate with a juror or prospective juror after discharge of the jury if:
(1) the communication is prohibited by law, local rule, or court order;
(2) the juror has made known to the lawyer a desire not to communicate; or
(3) the communication involves misrepresentation, coercion, duress or harassment; or
(d) engage in conduct intended to disrupt a tribunal
Kurt A. Scharfenberger