An Administrative Law judge ruled Wednesday that a lawyer for a man accused of driving under the influence of drugs was not legally responsible for the death of his client in an incident that could have been prevented by better training and training protocols.
In a ruling published Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Posner said that the judge did not have the authority to impose sanctions on a lawyer because he did not know enough about the case to make a legal determination on the issue.
He wrote that he did know that his actions “did not comply with the minimum standards of due process required by law.”
Posner, who also is the presiding judge in the state’s civil rights court, said the case involved an alleged DUI accident involving two men.
He ruled that there was insufficient evidence that a DUI lawyer was acting in bad faith.
He also wrote that the lawyer’s conduct “is so egregious, so obviously wrong and so contrary to public policy and public interest that the question of whether he is acting in good faith is not a reasonable one.”
He did not issue any sanctions against the lawyer.
The case drew national attention after it was reported that the attorney had been charged with aggravated assault for allegedly kicking the man who died after being dragged from his vehicle by police officers and handcuffed in handcuffs.
In the wake of the incident, the lawyer filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which allows a person who is being detained and has not been charged or tried to challenge the detention.
It was not immediately clear whether the lawyer had filed a lawsuit against the state or a judge.
A spokeswoman for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office said Wednesday the office has no comment on pending litigation.
In his ruling, Posner wrote that while he had “great sympathy” for the man’s family, he did “not feel that the State’s investigation, its evidence collection, and its evidentiary process sufficiently justified the issuance of a writ for habea corpus.”
“In sum, I do not believe the State has shown a compelling case of the type that could justify issuing a writ to obtain a full, fair, and unimpaired account of the circumstances surrounding the arrest and death of Mr. Bensimon,” Posner noted.