In re Plaza-Martinez

Appellant acted as counsel in district court for a criminal defendant (“Defendant”) who pleaded guilty to several charges arising out of a carjacking. The day before a disposition hearing was scheduled to take place, Appellant moved for a continuance, stating that she could not attend the scheduled sentencing because it conflicted with the commencement of a trial in another criminal case. The district court denied the motion. The court subsequently fined Appellant a monetary sanction, stating that Appellant had not been “candid with the Court” because she entered her appearance in the second case subsequent to requesting the continuance of Defendant’s sentencing. Appellant sought a vacation of the monetary sanction, asserting that she had been a key participant in the second case for several months. The district court denied relief. The First Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the sanctions order and expunged the sanction, holding that the district court abused its discretion in sanctioning Appellant, as there was no appropriate basis for a finding that Appellant had not been candid with the court. View "In re Plaza-Martinez" on Justia Law