A U.S. district judge yesterday acquitted Washington defense lawyer Kenneth Michael Robinson of a contempt-of-court charge that another member of the federal bench had filed against him.
Judge Thomas A. Flannery, in a ruling announced in court, said that while Robinson's conduct during a trial before Judge Joyce Hens Green last fall was discourteous and inappropriate, it was not a deliberate attempt to disrupt the court proceedings.
Robinson said that Flannery told him after the acquittal: "Don't be jubilant. You're not a winner, you're a loser because this can tarnish your reputation."
In an interview, Robinson said that "I'm glad it's over, but I again publicly apologize to Judge Green for any embarrassment or disrespect which I never intended."
When she filed contempt papers against Robinson, Green said he refused to comply with direct orders from her during the trial last fall, which she described as a "spectacle." Green said Robinson also told the jury that sentences she had imposed on two witnesses in the case were "ridiculous" and an "embarrassment."
During a trial before Flannery, Green took the witness stand and testified that Robinson "shrieked at me" and was "snarling, angry and disdainful in open court." Robinson, who defended himself against the allegations, admitted that he "may have been disrespectful" during the trial, but said he was not trying to embarrass Green.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. Biros argued that Robinson's conduct showed a pattern of disrespect and a reckless disregard for his professional duty to the court.
But Flannery said that the government had failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Robinson willfully intended to obstruct or impede the court process.