Michelle Leavitt

joseph caramagno joe caramagno.jpgEarlier this month, we gave Nevada attorney William Caramagno a Lawyer of the Day award. What did he do to merit this honor? He showed up to court late — and, even better, drunk — to defend a client facing a kidnapping charge. A charge with a potential life sentence.
How was the lawyer’s drunkenness detected? By a breathalyzer test, ordered by the judge, and administered in open court. Caramagno tried to get out of it, protesting that there was “no probable cause for me to blow.” But Judge Michelle Leavitt stood her ground, ordering him to “just go ahead and blow.”
Which he did. The result? A blood alcohol level of 0.075 — just shy of the legal limit for driving while intoxicated (0.080).
When we wrote about this incident previously, we had only read news accounts of it. But now we have audiovisual evidence of the encounter. Judge Leavitt sounds a lot like a high school guidance counselor, her voice full of concern mixed with toughness. Just listen to the way she says this line (at around 3:45 in the video): “You gotta blow good… You gotta blow good, I’m confident you know that…”
Here’s the video. Check it out for yourself:

(Gavel bang: Concurring Opinions.)
Earlier: Above the Law Lawyer of the Day: Joseph Caramagno
KIDNAPPING CASE: Alcohol test on lawyer stirs mistrial [Las Vegas Review-Journal]
A Lawyer’s Bad Morning [Concurring Opinions]
Is Litigating While Drunk A Crime? I Say Yes [Concurring Opinions]

joseph caramagno joe caramagno Above the Law Legal Blog.JPG

Lawyer of the day? Hell, let’s give Joseph Caramagno the whole week:

After a lawyer due to defend a man against a kidnapping charge showed up to court late and smelling of booze last week, a Clark County District Court judge ordered the attorney to take a Breathalyzer test in open court, then declared a mistrial when the test confirmed her suspicions.

In a remarkable exchange captured by the courtroom’s video camera, District Judge Michelle Leavitt ordered defense attorney Joseph Caramagno to submit to the test after she smelled alcohol on his breath.

The result indicated that Caramagno’s blood-alcohol level was 0.075. In Nevada, it is illegal to drive with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher.

C’mon, Judge Leavitt, lighten up! The practice of law isn’t that hard. Defending a guy against kidnapping charges is much easier than driving — especially if the car’s a stick-shift.
And that’s not all; the story gets even better. Here’s a three-word teaser: black halter top. Check it out, after the jump.

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