Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Texas court reporter on the receiving end of an unwanted kiss

It happened in the 249th District courtroom of the Fort Worth, Texas judiciary system. Longtime court reporter LuAnn Gill was transcribing a case when she became distracted by Jerry Loftin, one of the courtroom attorneys, who was making unwanted noise that was making it difficult to do her job.

According to witnesses, Gill tapped Loftin on the shoulder and asked him to quiet down. Then, Loftin alleged bent down to thank Gill for being so conscientious and planted a kiss on her cheek.
Loftin denies it, but now finds himself in all kinds of trouble with the Texas Bar Association and the Johnson Court System, which recently charged the Fort Worth attorney with assault by offensive contact, a Class C misdemeanor that carries a maximum $500 fine.

His story sounds a bit shaky, "I didn’t really kiss her," he said. "She said I patted her on the back and kissed her cheek. I reached down and blew her a kiss — well, I was next to her cheek."
Regardless of the positioning of the kiss, the case is going to put a wrinkle in the veteran attorney’s career. As for the court reporter, she is taking the matter more seriously, "There is another side of this. He just doesn’t want anyone to hear it," Gill said. "The facts will be presented in court and you can hear what I have to say then."

The case is a rare instance where the court reporter is placed into the spotlight. The goal of any good court reporter is to remain behind the scenes – and focus solely on creating an accurate, impartial record of the events in court or during any peripheral legal proceedings.

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1 comment:

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