For throwing a punch at a prosecutor, attorney Oscar E. Desper III, of Seattle, has been suspended from practicing law for 60 days, according...
For throwing a punch at a prosecutor, attorney Oscar E. Desper III, of Seattle, has been suspended from practicing law for 60 days, according to documents released Wednesday by the Washington State Bar.
In June 2004, defense lawyer Desper and prosecutor Dave Culbertson appeared in King County Superior Court for a case involving an assault on an officer. The two lawyers disagreed on the terms of the plea bargain.
At some point, during their verbal sparring, Culbertson pushed Desper away, according to Bar documents. Culbertson characterized the shove as a defensive move, saying that Desper was agitated and had lunged at him.
As Culbertson turned back to his court files, Desper threw a punch, according to a videotape of the incident. Culbertson stumbled backward into a bailiff.
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A disciplinary panel of the Bar heard from both lawyers plus several witnesses before deciding that Desper violated legal rules by punching Culbertson. The panel ordered a six-month suspension but said he could reduce the penalty to 60 days by undergoing evaluation for anger management and complying with any treatment recommendations.