Lubbock Attorney feels vindicated after dropped contempt charges - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/29/09

Lubbock Attorney feels vindicated after dropped contempt charges

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Attorney Ben Webb Attorney Ben Webb

By Ann Wyatt Little - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Contempt charges against Lubbock Defense Attorney Ben Webb have been dropped.

Back in June, Judge Jim Bob Darnell found Webb in contempt of court. The attorney was booked and taken straight to jail from the courtroom and Tuesday he had his day in court.

A visiting judge from Austin signed the agreement reached between the District Attorney's Office and Ben Webb's attorney. He was found not guilty and all charges will be removed from his record.

As for Webb, the attorney who found himself on the other side of the law says he feels vindicated. "It feels good to know what you feel was right was right," says Webb outside the Lubbock County Courthouse.

The defense attorney was subpoenaed by prosecutors in June to take the stand about a former client, Donald Johnson. "You saw what they are willing to do to a lawyer. Ignore the law and put me in jail. The citizens of Lubbock need to know what goes on in courthouse halls," adds Webb.  

Attorney John Grace with the District Attorney's Office says Webb was asked to testify on a very specific issue prosecutors thought fell outside the scope of the attorney client privilege. "The issue Webb was asked to speak on was his client presence in court on a particular day or not," says Grace.

Webb refused to testify, citing the privilege, and believed there were other ways of obtaining that testimony. "Anyone who has taken a civics class knows the attorney-client privilege is sacrosanct in America," says Defense Attorney Rod Hopson who represented Webb.

Judge Jim Bob Darnell found him in contempt of court. Webb was handcuffed and booked into the Lubbock County Jail where he spent about an hour. "This was a unique situation that fell outside the norm," says Grace who says the DA's office thought the case was moot back in June.

"Judge Darnell issued an order that said there would be no further punishment of Webb and from a DA's perspective there's no point in pursuing manner. So Wednesday we entered an agreement, signed by both parties, acquitting Webb," adds Grace.  

Hopson says prosecutors and the judge shouldn't have asked Webb to violate that privilege."They are ignorant and arrogant. Ben Webb assumed they knew what the law was," says Hopson.

"I feel a sense of vindication what I did was right. I feel good about the result judge entered a finding of not guilty," adds Webb.  

The courtroom was packed with defense attorneys supporting Webb.

©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

6/11/09
Attorney refuses to testify against former client, sent to jail
A local attorney went to jail rather than testify against a former client Thursday. Before a Lubbock jury sentenced Donald Johnson to 25-years in prison the sitting judge sent Johnson's former attorney to jail.

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