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Lawyer reprimanded for courthouse incident

An Alexandria lawyer has received a public reprimand from the Virginia State Bar growing out of a charge that he was drunk in public at the Alexandria courthouse in 2015.

Christopher P. Schewe came under suspicion when he showed up to pursue a civil lawsuit at the Alexandria General District Court on April 15, 2015, according to findings of a VSB district committee. Police officers reportedly observed him to be intoxicated. One officer said he detected the odor of alcohol and asked Schewe to submit to a breathalyzer test, the bar document said. Schewe reportedly refused. He was charged with drunk in public.

That charge was dropped after Schewe agreed to withdraw his appeal of an earlier DWI conviction in the same court, according to the VSB findings. Court records show Schewe was found guilty of DWI on March 27, 2015.

Schewe denied that he was intoxicated at the time of the courthouse incident, according to the VSB findings. Nevertheless, Schewe received a VSB private reprimand with terms on Sept. 6, 2016, according to the VSB district committee determination. The terms of the private reprimand were not disclosed, but Schewe was accused of failing to comply.

Schewe reportedly did not object to imposition of a public reprimand – without terms – as an alternative penalty. The public reprimand was approved by the district committee at a June 8 hearing.