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Potty-Mouthed Attorney Punished for Cussing Out Prosecutor

By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on May 20, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A prominent Cleveland defense attorney was publicly admonished for his potty-mouth. Craig Weintraub, who is best known for representing Ariel Castro, the man who kidnapped and imprisoned three women for over a decade, was overheard calling Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan a series of unprintable names. That lead to a contempt proceeding, some schoolmarm scolding from federal district Judge John Adams, and Weintraub's public wrist slap.

Weintraub, of course, thought the whole thing was F-ing ridiculous and that everyone should stop being such little $@#!*s.

Can They Give Attorneys Detention in District Court?

The fracas started during the sentencing of Weintraub's clients in a child pornography case, when Weintraub muttered some not-so-nice words about the prosecutor. The comments were outside of the judge's hearing, but not the marshal's, who reported Weintraub's behavior. The counselors were called into chambers for some questioning. Above the Law has the full admonishment, the facts of which could have been taken out of any middle school punishment.

Judge Adams demands that Weintraub tell him exactly what he said, verbatim. "I don't recall specifically, other than I think the one word I used was 'ass.' ... And I'm being honest with you, Judge," Weintraub states. "You never used the word 'f*ck' directed to Mr. Sullivan in my courtroom?" Judge Adams presses, presumably wearing glasses, his hair collected into a tight bun, while slapping a ruler against the palm of his hand.

Eventually, a full evidentiary hearing was held and Weintraub was punished for his remarks. Sadly, Adams did not order Weintraub and Sullivan to hug it out.

Cursing Is Commonplace

Unsurprisingly, Weintraub was not particularly happy with the proceedings. Here's what he had to say:

This process of a contempt proceeding started against me because a deputy who transports criminals from a federal facility to federal court acted as if he was traumatized by hearing curse words. Now, I don't know how inexperienced this guy is, but curse words are commonplace among most criminals and law-enforcement agents and criminal defense attorneys, and, believe it or not, holier-than-thou prosecutors.

While he did apologize to Sullivan, he also called the contempt action a "monumental waste of federal tax dollars."

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