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Lawyer Cited for Contempt Released

June 8, 2002

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PITTSBURGH (AP) _ A lawyer was released from jail Friday four days into a six-month contempt of court sentence imposed by a judge fed up with his delays in a robbery case.

The Superior Court ordered Joseph Hudak freed while he appeals the contempt citation issued by a county judge.

Allegheny County Judge David Cashman said he cited Hudak after the lawyer skipped two trial dates in late May for Kevin Somerville, who has been jailed for 18 months awaiting trials on charges including armed robbery, drug possession and assault.

The drug charge has been pending since June 1999.

In all, there have been eight delays in the cases _ seven caused by Hudak, Cashman said. He said Hudak didn’t warn Somerville, who he had been hired to represent, the judge or prosecutors.

``He cavalierly decides he is going to run the system the way he wants and everybody else be damned,″ Cashman said Wednesday, a day after he sent Hudak to jail. ``Mr. Somerville is not the nicest person in the world, he has done some bad things, but that doesn’t mean he should be tossed aside.″

Hudak said he was tied up with other cases, including a death row case.

``The only reason Judge Cashman sent me to jail was because he does not like lawyers who come in armed and ready to fight for their clients,″ said Hudak.

On Friday, Cashman said he respected the Superior Court ruling to release Hudak, but said he wouldn’t tolerate disdain for his court in the future.

``If he does it again, he knows what’s going to happen because it’s already happened,″ Cashman said.

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