UNITED STATES NEWS

Judge faces inquiry after Illinois attorney was kicked out of court and handcuffed to chair

Jun 12, 2024, 7:30 AM

CHICAGO (AP) — Cook County’s top judge has asked state regulators to review allegations that an attorney was handcuffed to a chair after a judge kicked him out of her courtroom.

Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans referred misconduct allegations against Judge Kathy Flanagan to the state Judicial Inquiry Board on Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

According to a sheriff’s report and court transcripts, attorney Brad Schneiderman was arguing for his client at a May 7 hearing when Flanagan told him to stop talking and ordered the attorneys to step back. Schneiderman walked toward the gallery, muttering, then turned back to the bench, according to the sheriff’s report.

Flanagan then yelled, “That’s it. Take him,” the report said. A deputy took Schneiderman into a back hallway and handcuffed him to a chair. The deputy told the county’s judicial executive committee that he was following protocol when holding someone in custody.

Flanagan later told deputies to let Schneiderman go. The attorney returned to the courtroom. According to a transcript, he complained that he hadn’t been given a chance to explain his client’s position. He said that in 17 years of practice he’d never had a problem with a judge before Flanagan accused him of being sexist.

Flanagan accused the lawyer of making false statements and the hearing soon ended.

Flanagan has served as a judge since 1998. She told the judicial executive committee that she didn’t hold Schneiderman in contempt and never asked that he be taken into custody.

The judicial executive committee has referred Schneiderman’s conduct to the state Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

Schneiderman declined the Sun-Times’ requests for comment and didn’t immediately respond to a message from The Associated Press on Wednesday.

United States News

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Judge faces inquiry after Illinois attorney was kicked out of court and handcuffed to chair