Adam Reposa’s day in court

According to statesman.com, Adam Reposa, a defense lawyer in Austin, was held in contempt of court last week and sentenced to 90 days for making a “lewd gesture.” Apparently, after a four-hour hearing discussing plea negotiations in a DWI case, he rolled his eyes and made like he was masturbating. Reposa said it was directed at the prosecutor, but Judge Jan Breland said that she felt it was directed at her.
Texas criminal defense lawyer Mark Bennett had an interesting take on this story yesterday, pointing out that Judge Paul Davis’ (it was Judge Davis who sentenced Reposa) stated concern that Reposa’s actions “tarnished the dignity of the judicial process” is a joke when you look at the bigger picture:

Adam’s client was pulled over by the police, asked to do tricks for the cops, handcuffed, searched, transported to the police station, and asked to blow into a tube . . .
Then Adam’s client was booked into jail. He was fingerprinted, photographed, ordered to strip, and searched. His body cavities were searched as well. His clothes and shoes were taken away, and he was given oversized orange pajamas and rubber flipflops to wear . . .
For several months he lived in a cage with 20 other men, sharing a stainless steel toilet and sleeping on a bunk, eating and showering only when someone else told him he could . . .
On court days Adam’s client was awakened at four in the morning, shackled and cuffed, chained together with a bunch of other guys, and transported from the jail to the courthouse to wait in a small cell for news on his case . . .
On the day of Adam’s alleged contempt, the client was taken before Judge Breland dressed in his orange pajamas and flipflops. For what reason? Apparently (by Adam’s account) the judge and the prosecutor were trying to get the client to plead guilty. Adam tried to counsel his client (there is no downside to a DWI jury trial when you already have six months’ jail credit). The judge told Adam to be quiet, and told the prosecutor to read the offer to the client. Adam continued to counsel his client and the prosecutor complained to the judge that Adam was whispering to his client . . .
I’m all in favor of instilling dignity into the process; that would, first, require treating the participants with dignity. I’m not holding my breath.


When I see the rest of the story, apart from the obscene gesture made by Reposa, it puts things into perspective. I don’t condone Reposa’s actions, but a too-familiar scene of a prosecutor and a judge trying to force a plea out of a defendant in court makes my stomach turn. I have watched a prosecutor, judge, and defense attorney all team up to force a guilty plea out of a defendant in open court, and, obnoxious or not, at least Adam Reposa was fighting for his client.
Reposa’s side of the story:

I wasn’t thinking then, but I am being railroaded now!! Look I try every DWI I can no matter how bad the facts because you will get less time from a jury than if you plead guilty. Free bite at the apple. This judge is very lenient on punishment, but she does not make it easy to get a day in court. I had a jury out on a .105 breath test case where my client got in a wreck and urinated on himself. During deliberations I told the judge “I don’t know” meaning about the verdict and she said emphatically “what you client who blew over the limit and peed on himself might be guilty!” Jury acquitted. She looked absolutely exasperated on March 11 from my mere presence when I arrived from Dallas, and we go into court where the RECORD shows that the first thing she tells my client is “you have been in since November” (he was sitting out 7 months state jail on an unrelated case but had all the time he needed–judgementproof). POINT–judge knows the max can’t hurt him. Then proceeds to tell my client –there are pros and cons to having a trial, I try to tell him that there is no con you have all the time in the world “Mr. Reposa be quiet, Mr. Prosecutor please read Mr. XXXXXXX the offer. So I whisper in my clients ear “Make them pick a jury, they will dismiss your Fucking marijuana weak ass bullshit DWI where you were stopped for inspection stickers!” the the prosecutor “Judge let the record reflect Mr. Reposa is still whispering in his client’s ear!” That is when I made the gesture, under the bench I thought. “I saw that says the Judge!” Now she goes into court and says “He looks me in the eyes, makes the gesture and rolls his eyes” Then why does the record say “I saw that” Because they want me out of practice. C’mon CCA. Simply she and I don’t get along. She introduces me to jury panels as a young lawyer, I stand up and ask the record to reflect I have tried over 50 DWI jury trials. She thinks I am disrespectful, and I won’t make any more public comments. Again c’mon CCA

Adam Reposa sounds like a jerk. He sounds like the type of lawyer that other lawyers can’t stand. He also sounds like a lawyer who is trying cases, fighting for his clients, and giving the prosecutors hell.

One Response to “Adam Reposa’s day in court

  • I have a question? If your a client who has been arrested on a DWI charge, would you want a lawyer who is in good standing w/ the judges and prosecutors and if you don’t want to go to trial might have a chance at getting the powers that be to reduce your charge.reckless-opp is better than a DWI-no? or do you go for a bulldog who the system alrady has it out for and take the chance you MIGHT WIN.Just wondering

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