As lawyers, our time is often not our own. We have to adjust our priorities for our clients, opposing parties and the Court in general. One Minnesota lawyer has learned that the hard way. Tayari Garrett had a trial scheduled at the same time her brother was getting married in France. She filed a motion to continue the trial date, but it was denied. She purchased plane tickets anyway. Her client was being prosecuted for mortgage fraud. The trial started. At first, she apparently claimed that she was in the hospital. But, she was actually on her way to France.
Ms. Garrett had twice tried to have the judge recused, a measure that never pleases any judge. The case was heavily litigated. The lawyer was later found guilty of contempt and fined $1,000 and sentenced to one year of probation. See ABA Bar Journal report. But the damage to her reputation is more serious. In the legal business, a person’s reputation for integrity is an important asset. Sometimes, its just better to just miss the wedding.