Lawyer in hot water over refusal to remove $30,000 watch

By Lawyers Weekly|03 March 2012

A Californian lawyer's obstinance has got him into hot water with a local sheriff's department, after he refused to take his wrist watch at a routine security check at the Madera County…

A Californian lawyer's obstinance has got him into hot water with a local sheriff's department, after he refused to take his wrist watch at a routine security check at the Madera County courthouse in Fresno.

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According to reports in the American Bar Association Journal, Criminal Justice, high flying attorney, Richard Berman, refused to take off the watch before passing through scanners; declaring "This is a $30,000 watch ... I am not going to take it off", to the court's clearly unamused security staff.

Berman then allegedly attempted to push past a female security officer who had attempted to block his path.

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While no charges have been laid over the incident, the Sheriff's department has signalled that it plans to file a complaint against the attorney for battery and avoiding a security check.

While the incident sparked significant debate among the journal's readers over the rights and obligations of lawyers attending court, clearly many in the profession were more concerned about the price tag attached to the watch.

One commenter stated disbelief at the timepiece's value, asserting: "I've been to Fresno...The odds of anyone in either place owning a $30,000 watch, let alone wearing one to court, are infinitesimal." Another reader rued the decline of the high times for hot shot lawyers, exclaiming "$30,000 watch? I need to practice the kind of law he is! I can't afford a $300 watch."

Lawyer in hot water over refusal to remove $30,000 watch
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