4th Circ. Upholds Atty's Conviction For Texting In Court

By Emily Sides (November 18, 2020, 8:58 PM EST) -- The Fourth Circuit on Wednesday upheld an immigration attorney's criminal conviction for disrupting a hearing by repeatedly refusing to stop texting, saying that immigration courts have the authority to impose criminal penalties for such behavior.

A unanimous three-judge appellate rejected Rebecca Moriello's assertions that the regulations under which she was fined improperly give immigration judges the power to hold someone in contempt of court. The panel said a district court judge interpreted the regulations correctly, that the regulations are constitutional and that there is enough evidence that backs up Moriello's conviction.

"It should come as no surprise that immigration judges and...

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