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Lawyer fined, disciplined for trial behavior

VSBA Virginia Beach lawyer has agreed to a public reprimand and five years’ probation with the Virginia State Bar after being found in contempt for “sarcastic and rude” behavior at a trial this year.

The penalties are a replay of earlier incidents involving John G. “Jack” Crandley. He was reprimanded twice in 2000 based on trial behavior.

The new punishment arises from a two-day personal injury trial in January before Virginia Beach Circuit Judge H. Thomas Padrick Jr.

Representing the defendant driver, Crandley was “continually rude and sarcastic to the witnesses,” despite admonishment by the court, according to an order entered by Padrick after the trial.

Crandley argued with the court, even shouting and advancing toward the bench with clenched fists at one point, the judge said. Crandley personally attacked the plaintiff’s counsel throughout the trial, Padrick wrote.

Padrick found Crandley in contempt of court and imposed a $100 fine in an order dated Jan. 17. Padrick also filed a complaint with the VSB, according to Assistant Bar Counsel M. Brent Saunders.

A VSB district subcommittee on Oct. 30 approved an agreed disposition of the misconduct charge. Crandley accepted a public reprimand with a five-year probation period. Under the terms of probation, the bar will impose a 90-day suspension if Crandley is found responsible for any further misconduct.

Crandley was reprimanded twice in 2000 for charges arising from contempt citations at trial. A VSB press release at the time said Crandley had entered into psychiatric counseling to address a problem with hostility toward judges, attorneys and witnesses.

VLW 013-8-133

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