We recently saw the relatively light treatment given a Wisconsin juror who walked out of deliberations in a major criminal case to enjoy a vacation in Cancun. The same does not appear to hold true for lawyers who are accused of skipping out on trials, it appears. Lawyer M. Tayari Garrett was convicted of misdemeanor contempt for skipping a trial last year to attend her brother’s wedding in Paris. She was given one year probation and a $1000 fine.
Garrett, who divides her time between Texas and Minnesota, was convicted of intentionally skipping a mortgage fraud trial. Garrett and Judge William Howard had various confrontations in the case, and Garrett sought his removal. She later accused Howard and the prosecutors of colluding to create evidence against her in the contempt case.
Garrett asked Howard to change her client’s trial date. He refused to do so and Garrett missed the first day of the trial to attend the wedding in Paris.
Garrett, 37, is reportedly an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas School of Law and an adjunct writing instructor at William Mitchell College of Law. I was unable to confirm the positions at the website of either school where her name does not appear with the adjuncts.
Efay Martin-Mahuru was accused of helping several people in a $2.8 million mortgage fraud scheme in Minnesota. The trial was set for May 2, 2011. Garrett asked Howard for continuances in March and April. Notably, five days before Howard denied the April motion, Garrett bought her airline ticket to France.
Garrett however insisted that she was hospitalized the day before trial and her travel after her hospitalization was “immaterial.”