Three years ago, an argument between two lawyers in court escalated to a punch. Now the Washington Supreme Court, acting on a recommendation from WSBA, is suspending Oscar Desper III, the lawyer who threw a punch, for 60 days. Seattle lawyer suspended for scuffle, Seattle P-I, June 6, 2006.
The incident was captured on a courtroom security camera. A still image is on KOMO's website: Not the Best Way to Settle an Assault Case, KOMO-TV, June 9, 2004 (I wasn't successful in viewing the video; you might be.) The incident also made Court TV.
Mr. Desper represented a class of African American Boeing employees in an employment discrimination case, reaching a multi-million dollar settlement with an agreement to change various employment practices. Judge John C.
Coughenour also dismissed charges that the lawyers who negotiated the settlement, Oscar Desper III, Bruce Harrell and others, failed their clients. For example, some workers complained bitterly of being left in the dark as the settlement moved forward.Boeing bias suit deal approved, Seattle P-I, Oct. 1, 1999.
"The suggestion that this result displays anything less than excellent legal ability or unwavering commitment to the plaintiffs is unsupportable," Coughenour wrote.