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Crime and Courts


Ohio Supreme Court dismisses contempt case against the Beacon Journal
Akron Bar Association wanted reporter held in contempt for refusing to answer questions. 
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
In The Region:

A Beacon Journal reporter will not be found in contempt for refusing to testify in disciplinary case against an Akron lawyer. 

This morning, the Ohio Supreme Court dismissed the case in which the Akron Bar Association wanted the court to find reporter Phil Trexler in contempt. The bar is investigating a dispute involving attorney Larry Shenise, who was quoted in the Beacon as saying Summit County Common Pleas Judge Paul Gallagher had failed to notify him of a hearing in a civil lawsuit. That later led to his 80-year-old client being jailed. The judge said Shenise had besmirched him. The lawyer said he was misquoted. 

Trexler and the Beacon had offered to file a sworn statement on the facts of the story, but the bar association wanted him to testify. In a 4-3 decision last month, the state high court ordered the newspaper and Trexler to file arguments on why they should not be found in contempt.

They responded that compelling reporters to testify – especially before quasi-judicial bodies like the bar – should only be done in extremely serious cases because of the importance of the First Amendment.


Related WKSU Stories

Akron bar pushes high court to find Beacon reporter in contempt
Friday, February 14, 2014

Beacon Journal fights contempt threat from bar association in lawyer discipline case
Wednesday, February 12, 2014

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