Jailed Attorney Who Contends all L.A. County Judges are Biased Denied Appeal by U.S. Supreme Court
The lawyer who contends all L.A. County judges are biased in cases against the county government will remain in jail after the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday denied his appeal to be freed, according to the Daily News.
Tarzana lawyer Richard Fine has been held in "coercive confinement" for over a year after refusing to pay "$46,329 in attorneys' fees relating to a lawsuit or to reveal details of his personal finances," the paper explained. Fine refuses to comply with those orders, which would ultimately free him from jail. Instead, he is challenging his punishment while bringing attention to what he sees is a major issue: Judges in L.A. County, who are paid by the state a handsome $178,789 salary, earn an extra $47,726 paid by the county.
In the past, the high court has ruled that five months is the longest someone can be held under coercive confinement, based on a case involving a Los Angeles journalist in 1974. "Otherwise, it becomes penal," Sterling E. Norris, the counsel for Judicial Watch in San Marino, told the Daily News. "Mr. Fine has probably done more time than most dope dealers, burglars and robbers. I think it's unjust."
Fine, however, has a positive spin on his denial. "I am encouraged that they did not dismiss my appeal, which indicates that I will win the appeal," he said in a statement.