Tuesday, December 10, 2002
Local Lawyer Accepts Anger Counseling as Penalty for Cursing at Judge
By ALLISON LOMAS, Staf Writer
A lawyer who used profanity in the courtroom of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mary Ann Murphy should participate in an anger management course at his own expense, the State Bar Court has recommended.
Daniel David Dydzak admitted to the State Bar of California that he failed to give the proper respect due the court when at the conclusion of a March 2000 proceeding he uttered “What a f---in’ whore” in Murphy’s Van Nuys courtroom. The judge transferred to the Stanley Mosk Courthouse downtown on Jan. 1, 2001.
Dydzak said he made the remark after Murphy unfairly ruled against his client, Lyle A. Maunder, and then kept him from making a complete record by declaring the hearing over.
Dydzak said yesterday that respect is a two-way street and that he was “treated extremely badly by [the judge],” who he said is consistently biased against plaintiffs’ attorneys like himself. “It works both ways,” he said.
He recalled that Murphy lost her temper, was rude and yelled at him before threatening to summon the bailiff when he attempted to make a record that the court’s ruling was incorrect and that the judge had demonstrated bias against his client.
Dydzak admitted that he “probably was talking about her,” when he lashed out with the obscenity, but stressed that he was not on the record, and was not addressing the court. “The door was half closed,” behind him, he said.
Murphy did not return a call yesterday.
In the stipulation, the sole practitioner agreed to attend anger management classes for one hour per week for six weeks. In total he paid $700 for the course with a licensed psychologist, he said yesterday.
During an emotional telephone conversation, Dydzak expressed resentment toward the State Bar for its treatment of him and this matter, calling the discipline “absurd.”
Noting that he believes himself to be a good attorney who has served hundreds of clients without incident, Dydzak said that he felt he had been taken advantage of by the State Bar. Dydzak asserted that he only accepted the stipulation of facts in order to keep his license to practice law.
State Bar Public Information Officer E.J. Bernacki dismissed Dydzak’s claims that the State Bar has a personal and political vendetta against him, and that Deputy Trial Counsel Janet S. Hunt took into account that the misconduct was reported by a judge. In response, Bernacki said “we investigate all complaints to the extent that they merit an investigation.”
In support of his claim, Dydzak pointed out that the Office of the Chief Trial Counsel filed a new set of disciplinary charges with the Hearing Department on Sept. 19. This marks the beginning of the third disciplinary action against him since he was admitted to the State Bar in Dec. 1985.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company