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09/18/87 the People of the State of v. Wayne Rogers

September 18, 1987

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

WAYNE ROGERS, DEFENDANT (JACK P. RIMLAND, CONTEMNOR-APPELLANT)



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT

513 N.E.2d 1152, 160 Ill. App. 3d 639, 112 Ill. Dec. 543 1987.IL.1375

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County; the Hon. John L. Hughes, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE NASH delivered the opinion of the court. LINDBERG, P.J., and UNVERZAGT, J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE NASH

Contemnor, Jack P. Rimland, was defense counsel for Wayne Rogers, who was convicted of murder and armed robbery after a trial by jury. At the Conclusion of the trial on June 20, 1986, the prosecutor orally requested that sanctions be imposed against defense counsel for making "talking objections," making "a personal attack upon the prosecutors," and for violating the court's order in limine which prohibited defense counsel from mentioning the death penalty during trial.

The trial court responded to the State's request as follows:

"Okay. There was a motion in limine, and it was stated by [the prosecutor]. I also stated at the beginning of this case that -- that we would be on a one-to-one basis between the attorneys. Both the motion in limine and my directions that we be one-on-one and not doubling-up have been violated.

Mr. Rimland has violated constantly from the very beginning in his objections when it was his place to make objections, it was [co-counsel's] place to make the objection. Mr. Rimland has constantly given reasons for his -- his objections from the -- from the table over there, the lawyer's table, and I said that at the beginning you come up to talk to me about the objections and we'll try to do it out of the presence of the jury if it got too loud. We'll go into the other room. I also know that you have loud voices, and that yet you are able to contain them because at least one time before me you did contain it. You were just so soft I couldn't hear you. But that -- that wasn't the usual run of the -- of the arguments.

I think that you have been constantly in violation, and it has been my opinion that the reasons for this could very well be that the more error that I made in this -- in my rulings here would give more reasons for an overruling of this case on a higher level.

Now, I'm not sure whether that is -- was your -- your plan, or whether it was simply your nature to act as you have. Even you, [co-counsel], at times, even though you've been more courteous and very courteous at times, have gone on beyond the point where I have said, 'There was an objection. Stop.'

That's about as far as I am going to go on you, but as far as Mr. Rimland, he has continued, and I see no reason why I should not -- in fact, I would be derelict in my duty if I didn't find you in contempt, and I do herewith find Mr. Rimland in contempt of this court, and I'll fine him five hundred dollars.

It's not so much the amount of the fine, it's the fact that you have been held in contempt, and that you ...


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