Michigan Judge Finds Attorney in Contempt for Live Streaming Trial
Of a man cited for warming up his car in the driveway of his Michigan home during subfreezing temperatures when the judge turned to the defense and asked if they were live streaming.
Attorney Nicholas Somberg acknowledged that his associate sitting behind him was live streaming, but had only done so after asking the local media if it was permissible.
But Roseville District Judge Marco Santia was infuriated that Somberg did not fill out a permission slip approved by him and ruled him in contempt of court.
The judge also looked directly into the two local media cameras that were live streaming and insisted they were not live streaming – to the delight and bewilderment of thousands of people watching the live stream on Facebook.
Judge Santia then ruled against Somberg’s client, Taylor Trupiano, for having the gall to leave his car running in his driveway to warm it up for his girlfriend and toddler who were inside the house, layering up before stepping into the eight degree weather.
Santia stated that it was “reasonable” for a cop to cite a family for leaving the car running in the name of safety to keep thieves from stealing running cars.
However, Roseville police officer Kevin Keary was not at all concerned about the car getting stolen considering he left the citation on the windshield of the 1997 Chrysler Concorde and drove off without even knocking on their door to warn them about the possibility of the car getting stolen.
Trupiano stepped out of his home less than ten minutes later to find the citation for $128 plastered on his icy windshield.
The 24-year-old man then posted a photo of the citation to Facebook, calling the cop “officer dipshit K. Keary” in a post that has been shared more than 14,000 times, generating thousands of comments that were hurtful to the feelings of the Roseville Police Department.
Roseville Police Chief James Berlin was so offended by the comments that he told Truliano to “drop dead” in a media interview.
The case drew the attention of local attorney Somberg who agreed to take the case pro bono because Trupiano could not afford representation.
Somberg argued that although there is a state law that says car cannot be allowed to remain running unattended, the law does not apply to private property.
He even cited a case of a man found drunk behind the wheel of his car while sitting on his property who ultimately was found not guilty of DUI..
But it appears Santia allowed his judicial judgment to be affected by his anger over Somberg for not filling out a permission slip before live streaming.
Somberg, who is still a rookie lawyer, said he did not know he needed to fill out a permission slip to have his associate do what the other two reporters were already doing.
And the video shows him apologizing profusely, promising to never do it again.
The video also shows Santia is clueless about technology, believing the news media does not have the capability to live stream a newsworthy trial to the internet.
So now Somberg is facing up to 93 days in jail and even disbarment for the contempt of court ruling against him, which would be a worse case scenario.He has a hearing on May 25 and plans to represent himself.
He also plans to appeal the $128 citation.
The video below is the clip where he is held in contempt. The second clip begins with that portion, but continues until the end of the trial.